As the FIA World Rally Championship returns to the island of Corsica for the first time in seven years, Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak are preparing themselves for a big challenge. The pair will tackle the event for the first time as they bid to get more points on the board for M-Sport.
On paper Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt head into the event the favourite to get the best result for the team. The Welshman has impressed on tarmac this season and secured a stage win on the last tarmac event in Germany. Evans has also tested the Ford Fiesta RS WRC extensively in Corsica since Rally Australia.
“Since the last Tarmac outing in Germany I feel as though we’ve been able to make a step forward,” said Evans. “When everything was perfect, our speed was pretty good, but it’s also fair to say that we struggled in the afternoon’s higher temperatures. We’ve had a day and a half of testing before this event and I’m feeling quite confident that we’ve progressed. Of course time will tell when we get to the rally, but for the moment, I’m feeling fairly optimistic.”
Ott Tanak and co-driver Raigo Mõlder come to Corsica with the intention of continuing their development on Tarmac and with the shortest of the nine stages 29 km long this weekend will see his concentration tested to the max. The Estonian has also tested in Corsica prior to the event and will be hoping it will pay dividends over the weekend.
“First and foremost we need to gain the experience,” said Tanak. “The first time at an event like this is always tricky, but we still want to do our best and secure a good result. We learnt quite a lot about the new car on Tarmac in Germany so if we can pull everything together then a good result is definitely possible. We just need to stay calm throughout the weekend and see what happens; but hopefully we can surprise a few people and come away with a strong result.”
The event kicks off tomorrow October from the Corsican capital city of Ajaccio. The Checkered Flag will be bringing you extensive coverage throughout the weekend.