Elfyn Evans follows in his father’s footsteps with Ulster Rally win

by Umar Hassan

Elfyn Evans has followed in his father’s footsteps to record his fourth win of the 2016 MSA British Rally Championship season in the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally.

Elfyn has also claimed his first British Rally Championship in his DMACK British Rally Team Ford Fiesta, 20 years after his dad Gwyndaf Evans won the championship in 1996.

However, it was not all plain sailing for the Welshman as he was embroiled in a Friday opening day battle with BRC-returnee Keith Cronin and non-registered entrant Alistair Fisher to which Evans had built a +4.5 second overnight on Day 1 over Cronin.

But when it came to the final day of the 2016 Ulster Rally on Saturday, Evans created a +1:07.6 lead over second-placed Jonathan Greer who used his ‘Joker’ to good effect at this rally to take his fourth win of the 2016 season and his first BRC title.

Scotland’s David Bogie completed the last of the podium finishers in third, while Ireland’s Cronin finished fourth in the BRC category. Marty McCormack also used his ‘Joker’ at the Ulster as he finished fifth, ahead of Josh Moffett in sixth.

Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Completing the top ten finishers at the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally are Rhys Yates, Tom Cave, Matt Edwards and Scotland’s Alex Laffey. Laffey took his first points at this very rally in Ulster in tenth place.

2016 BRC Champion Evans said The event was really tough, in fact it was probably the toughest of the season with the weather changing all the time, stage conditions changing constantly – it was difficult to keep up with everything and do the job in hand. After making a few wrong tyre choices yesterday we played it safe and erred on the side of caution on the second day to make sure we held our advantage and take the win.

“It feels pretty good to win the BRC title. We had hoped it was possible to wrap-up the title on the Ulster but in rallying anything can happen so we still needed to finish in a certain position and be in front of Tom [Cave] and Fredrik [Åhlin]. To combine it with a win is very special and it’s nice to be going home with the championship, especially 20 years since my Dad [Gwyndaf Evans] won the title on this event.”

Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Second-placed Greer spoke of his delight being back on the BRC podium once again. We were very happy with the first stage as our pace was very good and we were pleased to be where we were in this competitive field. From stage one we tried to stay at that level of pace and go for a good result.

“It was difficult finding the right tyre choice but we did our best and the car ran perfectly all weekend. It is great to be back on the BRC podium and it’s great to have done it against the calibre of drivers that were here. It makes it that extra bit special.”

Third-placed Bogie added This has to be one of the toughest rallies I have ever done, from the recce, through to two long days of rallying. The conditions were very difficult with mud, water, gravel, shiny Tarmac – there were so many factors to make it difficult.

“We had a wheel bearing collapse on the last stage with a mile to go. We made a repair to get the car to the finish and that was very stressful as I thought it was the Scottish Rally all over again! We are very happy to get back to the finish in third place.”

The final rally of the 2016 MSA BRC season concludes at its double-points finale at the Isle of Man Rally on the 15-17 September 2016.

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