It was an impressive performance from the M-Sport team at last weekend’s Rallye Monte-Carlo. Despite some problems over the event driver’s Ott Tanak and Elfyn Evans surprised many with their pace and speed on the first round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.
Welshman Evans enjoyed a good start to the rally with fourth fastest on stage two and an event best third fastest on stage three. Evans along with co-driver Daniel Barritt struggled with the treacherous conditions on the second day of the event as the lead cars dragged snow onto the stages. The British crew finished the day in 6th place. Things took a turn for the worse on the third leg as Evans clipped a wall on stage 11 damaging his suspension. The crew managed to make some makeshift repairs to the Fiesta and finish the day. The Welshman completed the final three stages to finish the event seventh.
The Estonian crew of Ott Tanak and Raigo Molder also impressed in Monte Carlo. Tanak had a point to prove as he was back in a factory team for the 2015 season and had a point to prove. His event started well with a very impressive run over the opening stage. The Estonian went second fastest beating reigning World Champion Sebastien Ogier. Tanak enjoyed some good pace over the first two days and ended the second leg in fourth place. Things took a turn for the worse however on stage 10 as the M Sport crew slid down an embankment and dropped to 23rd. Tanak concentrated on getting his rhythm and confidence back and recovered to finish the event in 18th place.
Despite the setbacks Team Principle Malcolm Wilson OBE was encouraged by the performance.
“The result is not what it could have been, but I have been extremely impressed by both Elfyn and Ott this weekend. They have the speed, but they also have the will and the determination to succeed.
“They’ll never give up and that’s what will see them go far. Needless to say that the whole team is extremely encouraged by the huge potential they both possess.”
The next round of the WRC takes place in Sweden in just under three weeks time.