The Welshman opened an 18-point lead over Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Sébastien Ogier when changing into the primary driver to win twice this yr in Turkey final month. He insists he received’t be distracted by the most important margin loved by the collection chief this season.
“Something can occur between now and the top of the season. One retirement and the entire thing is on its head once more. I’m not desirous about it,” stated the Toyota Yaris driver, who additionally received in Sweden in February and is searching a maiden world title.
“Finally, it’s higher to be out entrance than behind, however all I’m desirous about proper now could be the subsequent rally. All I can do is have a look at the occasion that’s in entrance of me. That’s Sardinia this week,” added Evans, who made his debut on the highest stage there as a late substitute in 2013.
Video: The highest 5 contenders
After being postponed from June as a consequence of Covid-19, this sixth spherical is staged within the autumn for the primary time since 2012. It means cooler temperatures and potential rain, however the slim and sandy gravel roads are prone to be as rocky and rutted as regular on the second move.
Ogier’s check final week offered beneficial perception into what would possibly lie forward on the Mediterranean vacation island.
“We had some heavy rain showers and the situations on the stage modified utterly in just some minutes,” he defined. The Frenchman, together with Evans and Kalle Rovanperä, will defend Toyota’s nine-point producers’ championship lead over Hyundai Motorsport.
The Korean squad fields a robust line-up that boasts three Italy wins previously 4 years. Ott Tänak slipped 27 factors behind Evans after retiring his i20 automotive in Turkey and the 2017 winner can not afford to concede additional floor in his bid to defend the world title.
Crew-mate Thierry Neuville is 5 factors adrift of the Estonian, who’s tied on factors with Rovanperä. The Belgian received in 2016 and 2018 and they’re joined in Hyundai’s squad by 2019 winner Dani Sordo.
Esapekka Lappi, Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith drive M-Sport Ford Fiestas, whereas Czech driver Martin Prokop makes his first WRC look since final yr’s Italian fixture in one other Fiesta.
Japan’s Takamoto Katsuta returns after lacking Turkey in a fourth Yaris, whereas French teenager Pierre-Louis Loubet drives a privately-entered i20.
Former world champion Petter Solberg and fellow Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen will exhibit Pirelli’s 2021 Scorpion KX tyres at Thursday’s shakedown and Sunday’s rally-closing Wolf Energy Stage. They won’t compete within the rally.
The motion begins begins on Friday morning and rivals face 16 particular phases overlaying virtually 240km earlier than Sunday afternoon’s end.
• Full protection from Rally Italia Sardegna shall be obtainable on WRC+ All Reside right here, together with each stage broadcast because it occurs in addition to key interviews, options and professional evaluation from the service park.