WRC title hopes have gone from "bad to worse" - Evans

Elfyn Evans admits his World Rally Championship title chances have dropped from “bad to worse” after a gearbox drama effectively ended any podium hopes at the Acropolis Rally.

Last year’s championship runner-up was in need of a strong result to stay in touch with points leader Sebastien Ogier, but is now left fighting for the minor placings after a transmission issue plagued his Friday.

Evans headed into the day sitting second overall after Thursday night’s Super Special and remained firmly in the hunt after the first of Friday’s gravel stages.

However, heading into the regroup before stage four, his Toyota Yaris developed a gearbox issue that resulted in Evans being late to check in, costing him a 40-second penalty.

The Welshman then had to complete the majority of the remaining three stages stuck in gear, which further haemorrhaged time.

Without a mid-point service to repair the car, Evans successfully managed to navigate the stages to reach the end of the day service sitting 16th overall, 4m46.7s adrift.

“It was quite a last-minute thing before we went into SS3, everything was fine after SS2,” said Evans.

“When we then put the power on and started to drive towards the stage, we found that we had an issue, so we then tried to find some quick remedies but unfortunately picked up some time penalties and then more again later trying to find some results with the problem. Unfortunately it was back to square one.

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“My paddle [shift] was not working at all basically but I had the means to go up but not down so then it was a case of, if you try your luck let’s say for certain sections to go up a gear, you struggle a lot then when it gets tighter.

“I think we tried to do what we could and the team was working behind the scenes, but there is only so much you can do in that situation.”

With teammate Ogier within striking distance of the rally lead in third just 3.9s behind Kalle Rovanpera, Evans says his title hopes look much worse than they did at the start of the day.

“I mean the situation wasn’t looking great anyway so it’s gone from bad to worse, but it’s the name of the game,” said Evans, who is confident his gearbox problem will be fixed for Saturday’s action.

“I don’t think I’ve had really one technical issue since I’ve joined this team so, at the end of the day, these things happen and it’s a very rare occurrence here so I’m sure it’s just one of those things.

“I’m quite sure it is fixable let’s say there is nothing obvious with the information they had. I’m sure they can get on with it and get it sorted.”

The Acropolis Rally continues on Saturday with a further six special stages.

shares
comments

Related video

Neuville felt more mechanic than WRC driver in Acropolis Rally
Previous article

Neuville felt more mechanic than WRC driver in Acropolis Rally

Next article

Greece WRC: Flying Finn Rovanpera blitzes rivals in Greek mountains

Greece WRC: Flying Finn Rovanpera blitzes rivals in Greek mountains
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021