Evans wary of title chances after winning “lottery” in Turkey

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans insists he is taking nothing for granted as the new leader of the WRC standings after title rivals Ott Tanak and Sebastien Ogier both suffered setbacks on last weekend’s Rally Turkey.

Evans wary of title chances after winning “lottery” in Turkey
Listen to this article

Evans won the toughest event on the calendar by 35.2 seconds, and set the third fastest time on the Power Stage to collect three bonus points, to reclaim top spot in the drivers’ standings. 

With just two rounds scheduled to run in 2020 – next month’s Rally Italy and November’s Rally Ypres – his advantage is 18 points. It was his second win of the campaign following his success on February’s Rally Sweden.

Asked how significant it was to be leading the WRC as it enters the business end of the season, Evans said: “It is better that way than the other way round – [but] I haven’t really given it too much thought. Who knows what will happen between now and the end of the season? 

“We know that, ultimately, one retirement and it’s flipped on its head again. We have to keep our heads down for the next rallies.”

Read Also:

Evans’ bid to become the first British World Rally champion since the late Richard Burns back in 2001 was boosted when Tanak retired on Saturday morning’s first stage with steering failure, and Toyota teammate Ogier had to park up his Yaris on Sunday’s infamous Cetibeli stage with engine problems.

Evans said he would have preferred to have taken his place on the top step in different circumstances.

“Of course, I’m very happy [but] I would say it is not the sweetest of my wins,” he said. “You never want to win in these circumstances. It is good points and that is what we came here for.

“Fortunately here, as we know, it is a bit of a lottery. There is only so much you can do to influence that. This time, we were on the right side of that. There have been situations in the past where we have been on the dark side of circumstances. I think we have to take this [win] and be happy for it.” 

Ogier revealed that the issues he encountered were a first for the Toyota team. His car developed electrical gremlins on the Saturday, leaving it with front-wheel drive only, before it was struck down with terminal engine failure on the Sunday. 

“The truth is we were pretty unlucky last weekend with two major problems that never happened before to the team,” the Frenchman told Motorsport.com. “I'm very confident that the team will investigate and do everything they can for it not to happen again. 

“But that’s mechanics and in motorsport we sometimes use to say that it's better to have all the problems at the same weekend instead of every weekend! For sure, in such a short championship, it's not good to have a zero-point weekend with technical failure.” 

Toyota team boss Tommi Makinen was quick to apologise for the manner in which Ogier, who was fighting for second place at the time, retired. 

“We are very, very sorry for what happened to Seb,” he said. “He was not the lucky man last weekend – he could still have been fighting for the victory.”

shares
comments

Related video

Turkey WRC: Evans takes dramatic win, points lead
Previous article

Turkey WRC: Evans takes dramatic win, points lead

Next article

Solberg to make Italy WRC return with Pirelli test car

Solberg to make Italy WRC return with Pirelli test car
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Prime

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier.

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Prime

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Prime

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Prime

Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers is no less demanding. We got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Prime

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Prime

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Prime

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Prime

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Motorsport.com was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success.

WRC
Aug 19, 2022