Wed 01 Mar 2023

Evans switches focus to gravel return

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Elfyn Evans is not dwelling on his Rally Sweden frustrations, with the Welshman now fully concentrated on the WRC’s return to gravel.

The Welshman finished fifth overall at last month’s winter fixture after struggling to find the optimum feeling aboard his GR Yaris Rally1.

It was a disappointing rally in general for the Japanese marque. Kalle Rovanperä finished just one place higher up, while Takamoto Katsuta rolled on the penultimate day before retiring for good with a technical issue before Sunday’s Wolf Power Stage.

“It wasn't a complete disaster, but of course, you do consider this type of event a disaster, especially on a personal level,” Evans said of his Sweden result. “It's not what you come to events for, for sure, so hopefully there’ll not be too many of those.

“I think the issue with Sweden is that it's always a pretty specific event. We don't do any other snow and ice driving all year, and it's quite a specific car for here. We can, let's say, forget about this to a point, but obviously now the focus needs to switch to gravel.”

The WRC returns to North America later this month for Guanajuato Rally México (16 - 19 March), which is back on the calendar for the first time since 2020.

It’s the first gravel fixture since Repco Rally New Zealand last October, and Evans is feeling excited to get back on the loose stuff.

“I'm looking forward to going back. It’s an event I’ve always enjoyed, to be honest,” he said.

“It will be a bit of a culture shock after the snow and ice of Monte and Sweden, and it's always tough for the car and tough for us inside it as well. It's been a while since we've done a real hard, hot gravel rally, so it'll be nice to get back to that.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM