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WRC Rally Sweden

WRC Sweden: Evans crashes out after receiving time penalty

Elfyn Evans has crashed out of Rally Sweden just hours after receiving a 10 second penalty for his wild finish to Saturday night’s stage at the World Rally Championship round.

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

The Toyota driver was rushing hard in Sunday morning’s opening stage when he spun into a snowbank approximately 7kms into the test. The impact flicked the GR Yaris violently around, he briefly got going again, but damage to the front of the car forced the Welshman out of the rally.

Evans had been sitting second and was attempting to reel in rally leader and Toyota teammate Kalle Rovanpera after receiving a time penalty for a wild finish to last night’s spectator stage in Umea city centre. The sanction left him facing an 18.3s deficit instead of 8.3s. 

Evans misjudged the final corner of Saturday night’s spectator stage resulting in Welshman sliding into a snowbank.

The soft snow bank dragged the Yaris off the road and in response Evans elected to floor the throttle to power through and over the snow bank, crossing the time beam in the process.

After using an alternative route to reach the stop line the incident caught the eye of the event stewards and as a result Evans and co-driver Scott Martin along with Toyota sporting director Kaj Lindstrom were called to the stewards late on Saturday night.

Martin explained that it was not possible to reverse the car out of the snowbank choosing to rejoin the defined road at the earliest point.

However, stewards determined they had gained an advantage by using the route. Despite the errors Evans only lost 2.6s to Rovanpera on the stage.    

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: Toyota Racing

“By entering the last corner at high speed, the crew gained a time advantage when crossing the flying finish as the finish line was located just at the exit of the corner,” read a stewards report.

“Although the crew stopped between the yellow warning sign and the stop sign, the stopping was not intentional and was due to an incident.

“The stewards conclude that this is a breach of Article 19.2 and the time penalty imposed above is proportional under the above circumstances.”

Evans’ demise leaves Rovanpera with a healthy 23.9s lead over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville with three stages remaining. 

There was also drama on the way to this morning's stage 16 as M-Sport's Adrien Fourmaux retired on the road section due to a continuation of the technical issue that afflicted the Puma on Saturday night.

 

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