Evans salvages fourth place on unlucky WRC2 weekend

Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Welshman Elfyn Evans headed in to the 2016 Rally Argentina with a clear goal in his sights, secure a third straight WRC2 victory in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5, unfortunately luck wasn’t on his side this weekend.

The rally started badly for the M-Sport team when a sensor in the engine caused Evans to stop on the shakedown stage, the team believed they had solved the issue but would suffer further electrical issues throughout the weekend.

Despite this and three separate punctures, Evans turned in some impressive stage times and on occasion was 30 seconds faster than eventual class winner Nicolas Fuchs.

“It was disappointing to have had an issue on the first day, but it was just down to one of those things. When we had a clean run the speed was good and I think it was more than enough to win the rally.

While the problems stopped Evans from securing a podium position, he did manage to finish the rally in fourth place.

“Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on our side. We had a few punctures but to get fourth off the back of a bad weekend is pretty good and we’ll be looking to get back to winning ways in Portugal.”

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson was sympathetic of Evans’ issues and believes that the Welsh wonder can bounce back in Portugal.

“It seems as though Elfyn has had a season’s worth of bad luck this weekend so hopefully he’ll be able to get back to winning ways in Portugal. When he had a clean run, he had more than enough speed to win the rally. He’s scored some solid points with a fourth-placed finish and I’m sure he’ll be out to impress at the next event.”

Before Portugal Evans is back on MSA British Rally Championship duties this weekend as he looks to make up for retirement in the last rally, joining Evans and Max Vatanen this weekend will be M-Sport’s very own Matthew Wilson who gets his first rally outing since 2014 Wales Rally GB.