Elfyn Evans continues to guide the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship after a strong fourth place end on this weekend’s Rally Italia Sardinia.
Together with his closest rival – Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Sébastien Ogier – ending one place larger in third, the Welshman now holds a barely lowered 14-point benefit in his quest to turn into the primary British driver to win the WRC title for the reason that Colin McRae and Richard Burns period almost 20 years in the past.
Whereas Dinas Mawddwy’s Evans stays on course for the coveted crown, his activity has been made tougher by the addition of an additional spherical to this 12 months’s Covid-19 truncated calendar.
This new occasion based mostly on the well-known Monza F1 circuit in early December was introduced on Friday, supplementing subsequent month’s already confirmed Renties Ypres Rally Belgium (19-22 November).
Arriving on the Mediterranean Island because the outright championship chief, Evans’ hopes of victory have been all the time slim.
Operating first on the gravel tracks on Friday’s opening six phases meant he and co-driver Scott Martin could be appearing as a road-sweepers of their Yaris WRC, clearing away the unfastened high surfaces thus giving these behind a cleaner, grippier floor.
Minimising the time misplaced, 31-year-old driver ended the opening loop of aggressive phases in a decent fifth place, however already too far adrift to problem these forward for a podium place over the weekend’s 10 remaining velocity exams.
Victory lastly went to Hyundai Motorsport’s spectacular Dani Sordo.
The Spaniard, who isn’t in title rivalry, took full benefit of a decrease beginning place to attain back-to-back wins in Sardinia.
“We have now come away from the weekend as finest as we might actually with strong factors,” admitted Evans who won’t have the identical street cleansing points on the remaining two rounds as each are staged on asphalt roads.
“After all, you all the time need greater than fourth place however we knew coming right here beginning first on the street was going to be powerful and in the long run I believe fourth was realistically probably the most we might obtain
“We have been put out of the struggle on Friday with our street place and it didn’t make sense to take huge dangers to try to be sooner however most likely simply find yourself in the identical place on the end anyway.
“So sure, not our strongest efficiency however a strong weekend contemplating the circumstances and the Yaris WRC felt nice once more.
“Now going onto asphalt, being first on the street ought to usually be a bonus and we can be hoping that would be the case.”