Evans holds strong fourth as “Titänak” is resurected

There was more drama for the “TiTänak” following yesterday’s epic repair.

Evans holds strong fourth as “Titänak” is resurected
M-Sport mechanics work on the crashed car of Ott Tanak and Molder Raigo
M-Sport mechanics work on the crashed car of Ott Tanak and Molder Raigo
M-Sport mechanics work on the crashed car of Ott Tanak and Molder Raigo
M-Sport mechanics work on the crashed car of Ott Tanak and Molder Raigo
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barrit, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barrit, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barrit, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Crash for Ott Tanak and Molder Raigo, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Crash for Ott Tanak and Molder Raigo, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Crash for Ott Tanak and Molder Raigo, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barrit, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barrit, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barrit, M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC

Rally Mexico never fails to deliver the drama, and this year’s edition is proving to be no different. For the M-Sport World Rally Team, Elfyn Evans is currently holding a strong fourth place but there was more drama for the “TiTänak” following yesterday’s epic repair.

Despite working perfectly when Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder delivered the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta RS WRC into parc fermé yesterday evening, the ruthless reservoir had not finished with the team. Sitting in the holding area over night, the dampness fought back – bringing unwanted gremlins for this morning’s opening fifteen minute service.

Towing the car into its bay – to the applause of their fellow manufacturer teams – the M-Sport technicians were not going to give up without a fight and worked tirelessly to ensure the Estonian could drive out of service just five minutes later than scheduled.

We need to get back on the horse and keep pushing.

Ott Tänak

Unfortunately, the Fiesta came to a halt after the first refuel. Tänak and Mõlder are skilled mechanics in their own right and were able to get the car running again, but could not make the start of the morning’s first stage in the allocated time.

After the crew drove the car back to service, the team let her bathe in the Mexican sun – drying the components before they embarked on Rally 2.1.

Mission accomplished, a faulty sensor was found to be the culprit and the M-Sport technicians delivered another master class before delivering “TiTänak” to the overnight parc fermé – ready to fight another day on tomorrow’s final speed tests.

In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt climbed into a strong fourth place over the course of the day. The Welshman has delivered his strategy to the letter this weekend – pushing when confident and adopting a more cautious approach when not.

Evans may be one of the most inexperienced drivers in the field, but he is also one of the most composed and intelligent. His clever strategy is reaping the rewards, and the Welshman is on course to equal his best ever FIA World Rally Championship result.

Elfyn Evans (4th) said: “Today has been a good day overall but it has been more about being reliable than anything else. We didn’t find a great rhythm this morning, but then Dani [Sordo] had some problems which really took the pressure off.

“This is such a difficult rally and tomorrow will be all about making sure we get safely to the finish. Of course anything can still happen, but I think fourth place would be another great result for us on only our second time here.”

Ott Tänak (28th) said: “The boys did an awesome job last night so it was a real shame for everyone not to be able to start the stages today. In the end it was just a really small detail that stopped us this morning – literally just a sensor! It’s fixed now and we’re ready to get out in the morning.

“It’s really important for myself and Raigo [Mõlder, co-driver] to get back out tomorrow. It’s the only way to regain the pace. We need to do some driving and as we don’t have any pressure we can just enjoy these amazing stages. We need to get back on the horse and keep pushing.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said: “It was a fantastic effort from the whole team last night so it was disappointing for everyone not to get Ott’s [Tänak] car back on the stages today. There was some moisture in a component that we weren’t expecting, but we’ve addressed that now and should hopefully see the boys back on the stages tomorrow. It’s really important for them, and for the whole team, to get back out there.

“Elfyn [Evans] has driven a very intelligent rally so far. He’s in a really strong position at the moment and another fourth place finish would be a fantastic result on only his second time at this notoriously difficult event. Who knows, if the other teams decide to let their drivers fight, anything can happen!”

M-Sport World Rally Team

shares
comments
Mads Østberg sets his sights on second place

Previous article

Mads Østberg sets his sights on second place

Next article

Hyundai Motorsport consolidates top five position moving into final day of Rally Mexico

Hyundai Motorsport consolidates top five position moving into final day of Rally Mexico
Load comments
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021