As Elfyn Evans moves to Toyota for the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season, M-Sport Ford have given the Brit a fond farewell.
Evans has always been a man for Ford throughout his rally career, winning the WRC Academy title in 2012 as well as the British Rally Championship.
This came after an appearance with Ford at the age of just 18-years-old in Rally GB in 2007. Fast forward 12 years, and Evans has been in and out of the WRC and WRC-2 on multiple occasions.
Despite podiums with M-Sport in 2015, a year in WRC-2 in 2016 gave Evans the confidence to get back into the main event and to fight for wins. Two second places in Argentina and Finland climaxed with a maiden win in Wales Rally GB.
It was the first win for a Welsh driver and the first for a British driver on British soil the late Richard Burns in 2000.
Malcolm Wilson OBE, Managing Director at M-Sport, said: “Over the past ten years I have watched Elfyn develop into a world-class driver – all behind the wheel of our Ford Fiesta rally cars.
“He’s the perfect example of how a young driver can progress through Ford’s, ‘Ladder of Opportunity,’ and we wish him the very best of luck for the future. We wanted to retain his services for 2020, but unfortunately that’s not been possible.
“Having said that, I remain extremely proud of all we have achieved together and the part M-Sport has played in his development. Elfyn has become a key player at the sport’s highest level, and it goes without saying that he will always be part of the M-Sport family.”
Richard Millener, Team Principal, added:
“I’ve known Elfyn a really long time and we pretty much worked our way through the ranks together.
“I was running the Ford Fiesta Sport Trophy when he first started, and it’s been brilliant to watch him develop into one of the best drivers in the world – sharing in all the highs and lows along the way.
“Malcolm has put a lot into Elfyn’s career, and he’s in the form of his life at the moment. It’s no surprise that he’s in high demand, and no secret that we wanted to keep him in the team next year.
“But we knew that would be difficult and even though it’s not been possible, we’re all really proud of how far he’s come – and wish him the best of luck for the year ahead.”
A back injury this year has compromised Evans’ year. Without it it would likely have been Evans’ best WRC season to date which bodes very well for 2020.