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Thu 23 Jun 2022

Evans: ‘slim’ title hopes won’t affect Safari tactics

Elfyn Evans is adamant a 79-point deficit to team-mate and FIA World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä won’t change his approach to Safari Rally Kenya.

The Welshman, who sits fourth overnight after Thursday afternoon’s opening speed test at Kasarani, has endured a difficult start to the year with second place at Vodafone Rally de Portugal the only high point.

Having finished runner-up in the title race for the last two seasons, the Toyota Gazoo Racing pilot has yet to land his first win of the hybrid Rally1 era.

“For me, nothing changes in the approach to the rallies,” he said ahead of the Nairobi start. “You come to these events and do your best – that’s what I will be doing here.

“I suppose if you want to talk about chances in the championship, I haven’t even done the maths, but the gap is big and I guess you’d say the chance is slim. We take each event as it comes and do what we can.”

Evans retired from day one in Kenya 12 months ago after hitting a rock and smashing his car’s front right suspension. Nevertheless, he is looking forward to the challenge at this weekend’s sixth round of the campaign.

“It is that, it is a challenge,” he said. “From the recce we’ve seen some of the roads are the same as last year, but some of the sections are rougher and we will have to be protecting the car in these places.

“It’s that fine line, isn’t it? In some places you’ll need to push hard, but in other sections it’s about working out just how slow you need to go. We’re going to have to keep adapting the speed to the conditions.”

• Full coverage from Safari Rally Kenya will be 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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