Evans eyes podium repeat

Elfyn Evans is targeting a second straight podium in Corsica this week to maintain his charge up the FIA World Rally Championship standings.

The Welshman’s third place in Mexico earlier this month propelled him up to fifth place in the points. An encouraging test last week has convinced the M-Sport Ford driver that another top three at Corsica linea - Tour de Corse (28 - 31 March) is a realistic goal.

“We spent two days testing together with Teemu (team-mate Suninen) and the car feels really good. Everything went to plan and I feel as though we should have some good pace. We’re all looking for another podium and will work as hard as we can to achieve it,” he said.

“It was great to get a podium last time out in Mexico, and that really propelled us up the championship standings. It gives us a top-five starting position this week, and we need to capitalise on that and aim for another strong result.”

His season started on a low note with a no-score at Rallye Monte-Carlo, but fifth place on Sweden’s snow and ice preceded a successful opening gravel encounter in north America’s heat and dust.

Evans, who led a WRC round for the first time at the asphalt Mediterranean fixture in 2015 en route to second place, knows this week’s new-look format will be tough.

“This year’s Tour de Corse will be a real challenge with about two-thirds of the route made up of completely new stages. The recce is going to be really important and there’s going to be a lot of work needed on the pace notes,” the Ford Fiesta driver acknowledged.

Team principal Rich Millener spotlighted the opening leg, when drivers face more than 120km of action without service, as key.

“There’ll be a real element of endurance on Friday when we complete the whole day without service. The crews are going to have to be especially focused and a clever drive could well bring home the points,” he said.

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