Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team’s Elfyn Evans says he’s “ready to give his best” ahead of the championship’s return early next month.
Evans, who sits second in the Drivers Standings behind teammate and six-time WRC winner Sebastien Ogier, will first take part in this weekend’s South Estonia Rally with him and co-driver Scott Martin treating it as a “competitive test session.”
The Welshman said on his return to the driver’s seat of the Toyota Yaris WRC: “We will treat that as a final warm-up to get us, and the team, back in the competitive groove.”
“We will try to fine-tune a few different chassis set-ups and use the event as a competitive test session in the build up to Rally Estonia itself.”
He also has past experience of competing in the country after driving on last season’s promotional event, where unfortunately he suffered a back injury that ruled him out of several rounds of the 2019 season as he went on to explain: “The rally had actually started pretty well and I’d set some encouraging stage times before I picked up the back injury which prevented me driving quite as hard as I would have liked for the remainder of the event.”
“We were able, though, to get some good experience which now, of course, is proving to be quite useful. Some of the other drivers know Estonia, too, but I’m happy we were there last year. Even so, I expect it to be fairly close at the front.”
He continued: “If you slow down too much on the jumps, then you’ll fail to be competitive. Besides, I’ve since been told that particular jump is famously tricky – we now know that place and won’t be making the same mistake again.”
Estonia has joined the 2020 WRC calendar after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of several events including Evans’ home event Wales Rally GB and he went on to admit he wants the round to return next season.
He added: “Of course, I’d like to see the WRC back in Wales in 2021… and not just for patriotic reasons. The great thing about Wales Rally GB is that it’s a unique event. It’s very different to all the others on the calendar and the challenge of rallying in Wales is one which everyone enjoys.”
“The World Championship needs diversity and you certainly get that with Wales Rally GB. So I desperately hope it can keep its place on the WRC calendar.”
The South Estonia Rally takes place this weekend before the FIA World Rally Championship returns for the first time since March with Rally Estonia between September 4-6.