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EV Cargo’s world motorsport brand ambassador Elfyn Evans holds third in the FIA World Rally Championship after finishing fifth on round two, the Arctic Rally Finland.
Driving for the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC team, Elfyn put in a solid performance on the championship’s only winter round. Held in northern Finland’s Lapland region, Elfyn and co-driver Scott Martin tackled high-speed, frozen forest roads lined with high snowbanks, and battled sub-zero temperatures all weekend.
His Toyota Yaris WRC car was equipped with studded tyres, each one with 384 metal pins to help bite into the frozen ice and gravel, which ensured some very high speeds through the winter wonderland landscape.
After finishing second on the opening event at Rallye Monte Carlo in January, Elfyn was hampered by running second on the road on the opening day’s action on Friday. Having to clear loose snow off the road, and with grip improving after each car, he lost a little time and dropped just over 30 seconds to the leader.
But he battled back on Saturday to set a series of top times, including a stage win on SS4, to narrow the gap on the leaders. However, rally-leading pace continued to elude him as he struggled with tyre management on Saturday and never really found the confidence to push for victory.
Elfyn closed the gap to fourth to just a few seconds on Sunday’s first high-speed test and cruised through the final stage to claim fifth.
That secured valuable championship points and he’s now third in the overall WRC series as the championship switches from snow to Tarmac. The next round is another new event, the Croatia Rally which starts on 22 April.
Elfyn Evans said: “Things just didn’t go our way this weekend really, fifth wasn’t the result we came here for, so it was disappointing. We maybe could have managed our tyres better on Saturday as it didn’t allow us to fight with the drivers at the front.
“We need to improve and we know where we need to improve. It was also important to finish and we got some good championship points – it’s looking like this season will be extremely competitive so consistent point scoring is going to be key.
“Overall, the stages were enjoyable to drive, the high speeds on snow and ice in the forests are really exhilarating.”