Elfyn Evans’ dominating victory in Rally Finland keeps world title hopes alive
Elfyn Evans has stormed home to win Rally Finland and is fixing his eyes on the World Rally Championship (WRC) prize.
Evans, who hails from Dolgellau, drives a Yaris for Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT and went from strength to strength during the three-day trial in Finland, with two rounds of the World Championship remaining.
Through Friday night and Saturday morning Evans went from fifth through to first place by way of a dramatic series of five back-to-back speed test wins, reducing his overall deficit behind leader Sebastien Ogier from 44 points to 24, and finishing 14.1 seconds ahead of Ott Tänak who took second place.
Described as a “dominating performance”, Evans won nine out the 19 stages, achieving maximum points for winning the closing Wolf Power Stage, to become the first Welsh driver to win Rally Finland.
— Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT (@TGR_WRC) October 2, 2021
Evans has five rally wins under his belt, two of those this year, having won the Rally de Portugal in May.
He said: “This one feels good in the way we managed to do it. We struggled a lot [on the fast roads] in Estonia and we made some changes to the car in the test and found some confidence early on.”
“I always said from the outset the aim was to do the best on each rally we have left. We have to just focus on doing our best in [the next round] in Spain and worry about the rest later.”
Ahead of him and teammate Scott Martin are Rally Espana on 14-16 October and the Rally Monza in Italy in November, which is the season finale.
Tweeting after the race he said “Yes!! Very happy to secure the win on such an iconic event after a big old race all weekend. Our test went well, Friday was good and we really took the fight to the others on Saturday. Big thanks to our @TGR_WRC team, and a super home win for the Yaris WRC again”
Yes!! Very happy to secure the win on such an iconic event after a big old race all weekend. Our test went well, Friday was good and we really took the fight to the others on Saturday. Big thanks to our @TGR_WRC team, and a super home win for the Yaris WRC again 🏆 🥇 🏴 #EE33 pic.twitter.com/QLbN2LJTv4
— Elfyn Evans (@ElfynEvans) October 3, 2021
Scott Martin added: “Can’t believe we’ve won in #Rallyfinland It was our first time competing here together but everything just clicked. The car was great, we just felt in the zone all weekend and so pleased to take a home win for the team.”
Toyota teammate Ogier finished fifth in Finland, collecting 10 points, and Ireland’s Craig Breen is now sixth in the Championship after taking third place in Finland.