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Tue 08 Nov 2022

Evans: We still have work to do

Elfyn Evans has admitted there is still work to do for him to tune himself into the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 ahead of this week’s FIA World Rally Championship finale in Japan (10 - 13 November).

The Welshman arrives in Aichi searching for his first win of the season – something he’d love to achieve at the team’s home event. But he’s also doing it with an eye to next season.

Despite finishing second on four occasions this year, Evans admits he’s still missing the familiarity he enjoyed with last season’s Toyota Yaris WRC – a car which carried him to the runners-up spot in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

“I think the thing was with last year’s car, there was a little bit more flexibility with the way you could set the car up,” he said. 

“This year, you’re more tuning yourself and your style to the car rather than the other way around. 

“Don’t get me wrong, the car’s fantastic – you only have to look at the results achieved with it to know that. But I’m still working on a few things and the team are too. There’s definitely some common ground where we [the car and driver] can meet in the middle.”

Sixth place in Spain last time out wasn’t the result Evans was hoping for. But he’s optimistic about the week ahead.

“As a team, I think we’re all looking forward to finally getting to compete at Rally Japan,” he said. “Of course the target will be to try and get a good result on home ground for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Personally, the last round in Spain was not the best for me but hopefully we can use the rally in Japan to find some improvements and prepare for next year in a good way. 

“I was there in 2019 to recce some of the stages around the area of the rally and from what I remember the roads were very demanding with sections that were extremely twisty and narrow and others which were more fast and flowing, so there will probably be a lot of changes in character to deal with during the rally.”

  • Full coverage from FORUM8 Rally Japan 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.