WRC2 title goes down to the wire: Can M-Sport’s Evans survive the Skoda onslaught?

The 2016 FIA World Rally Championship heads to the penultimate event of the season in Wales next week and there is still one title to be decided, the WRC2 title is still up for grabs and Elfyn Evans is the current championship leader.

Having taken three victories this season in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 in Mexico, Italy and Poland, along with second place finish in Finland Evans is in the prime position to take the championship. The Welshman has done everything he can now having completed his seven point-scoring rounds in the WRC2 class, so for him it is now an anxious wait until the end of the season.

Teemu Suninen - Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
Teemu Suninen – Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

There is a triple Skoda challenge waiting in the wings though, with Jan Kopecký, Teemu Suninen and Esapekka Lappi still in with a chance to take the title.

The rapid Czech driver Kopecký has impressed recently and took victory at the last event in Spain, he could still match Evans on points in the championship with two events left and if he was to do so would outscore Evans due to his three podium finishes (aside from the victories).

Jan Kopecky - Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
Jan Kopecky – Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Team Oreca’s Suninen lost out in Spain as he was hit with turbo issues on the opening leg, he recovered to fourth place and will need to finish third place (or better) to surpass Evan’s 120 points, and second place to guarantee he can’t be caught by Lappi.

Lappi is 48 points behind Evans in the title chase so will need to secure two victories to eclipse the Welshman and hope that Suninen finishes lower than second place to be able to claim championship victory.

Esapekka Lappi - Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
Esapekka Lappi – Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Whatever the outcome, it is going to be an interesting finish to what has been an exciting the WRC2 season. With rule changes in place to make sure at least three events on the calendar are competed by all competitors and the full arrival of the Hyundai i20 R5’s, it is showing excellent signs of a growing feeder category.