Sun 27 Feb 2022

Evans hit with 10 second penalty

Elfyn Evans’ Rally Sweden victory hopes were dented on Saturday night when he was slapped with a 10sec penalty following his dramatic crash into a snowbank on the final corner of the day.

Watch: Evans error proves costly

The penalty means the Welshman trails Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Kalle Rovanperä by 18.3sec heading into Sunday’s final day. He retains second overall but his advantage over Thierry Neuville in third is reduced to 3.4sec.

In a late-night hearing, event stewards decided that Evans did not follow the defined road after completing the day’s closing Umeå speed test on a road running parallel to the stage route.

Evans and co-driver Scott Martin attended the hearing and Evans explained that they had approached the last corner before the flying finish too fast and, as a consequence, their Toyota GR Yaris went wide into the snow.

They realised that reversing the car was not possible, so decided to continue on a parallel road towards the stop control. They rejoined the stage route as soon as possible as they felt it would not be safe to rejoin by driving back over the snowbank.

The crew reached the stop control where the parallel road merged with the stage route and Martin exited the car to receive their time.

Stewards decided that by entering the last corner at high speed, the crew gained a time advantage as the finish line was located at the exit of that corner.

• Full coverage from Rally Sweden is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

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