Thu 27 Jul 2023

Evans back to work with Finland warm-up

Elfyn Evans is hard at work this week, figuring out a way to foil team-mate and local hero Kalle Rovanperä’s hopes of back-to-back fast rally wins in Finland.

Rovanperä dominated last week’s Rally Estonia but Welshman Evans is keen to find a way back to the form which helped him to a maiden Secto Rally Finland win in 2021. Both Toyota men will head to Tampere for the HYAcenter Ralli on Saturday.

“Rally Estonia was a good warm-up for Finland,” said Evans. “It’s hard to be satisfied with the result with our result [in Tartu], but we came away with some good points from the [Wolf] Power Stage and the rally.”

Explaining his lack of feeling for the GR Yaris Rally1 in Estonia, Evans said: “On Friday, it took some time to feel comfortable and I think that’s where the majority of the damage was done in terms of our road position [for Saturday and Sunday].

“We’ll work hard over the next week to try to do better [in Finland]. Finland is a different surface with a different level of grip – it’s important not to get too [focused] on Estonia. We’ll try to understand what wasn’t working and prepare for Finland.”

Evans dominated the 2021 Jyväskylä event, which ran later in the year in autumn due to COVID-19 restrictions. The two-time world champion runner-up has finished on the podium twice in his last four starts at Secto Rally Finland.

Also taking part in HYAcenter Ralli is M-Sport Ford youngster Pierre-Louis Loubet, who will drive a Puma Rally1 alongside stand-in co-driver Arnaud Dunand. Nicolas Gilsoul, Loubet's regular partner, returns to the right-hand seat next week.

"[Pierre-Louis] will do the event in Finland instead of Ott [Tänak]," team principal Richard Millener confirmed. "The longer he's in a car and driving, the better it is. I hope that will give him his best preparations for the rally."

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM