Whereas the World Rally Championship is in full swing each on and off the phases with the arrival of the hybrid, one other recreation of chess is being arrange behind the scenes across the subsequent switch window. . After the large blow made in early Might by Hyundai Motorsport, which prolonged the contracts of Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak in fast succession, the ball is now within the court docket of the Toyota Gazoo Racing workforce and Elfyn Evans who, unwittingly, is grow to be the primary piece of the puzzle for 2022.
At Toyota, nevertheless, the ambitions appear clear in the mean time with an actual need to maintain the Welshman and even doubtlessly make him the number one driver within the occasion that Sébastien Ogier decides to cut back his WRC dedication to a couple years. subsequent. Additionally on the finish of the contract, Kalle Rovanperä can be within the sights of the Japanese model for an extension.
On the similar time, M-Sport, which intends to return to the match towards its two rivals with the arrival of the brand new rules, now not conceals its ambitions to signal a high driver, the vice-world champion thus turning into the goal of the British workforce.
Confronted with these negotiations, Evans advised Motorsport.com that he hadn’t given an excessive amount of thought to his plans for subsequent 12 months, whereas nonetheless desirous to keep away from prolonged negotiations. “It is no secret and clearly it is in everybody’s greatest curiosity to do that as early as attainable in terms of working with or getting ready for brand new automobiles. ‘there is no such thing as a exact timetable, however I don’t count on it to tug on till December “, he clarified.
“We have been so busy with these back-to-back rallies. It has been very tough to concentrate on that aspect nicely for now. I believe usually it could be early sufficient to speak about these things, however in fact, [les reconductions de] Ott [Tanak] and Thierry intervened even earlier. “
“After all it’s in everybody’s curiosity to maneuver ahead with the 2022 regulation, I assume the discussions will happen ahead of regular, however for now I am making an attempt to concentrate on these two rallies [Sardaigne et Safari Rally] and possibly after that we are able to suppose a bit of extra about it. “
On the query of a attainable departure of Toyota, the previous M-Sport driver has not closed any doorways for the second. “I do not know. Who is aware of, clearly with a brand new set of rules everyone seems to be beginning with a clean slate. JI’ve to say that I’m very joyful the place I’m and issues are working very nicely throughout the workforce, so let’s have a look at the way it goes. As an instance I am joyful the place I’m and the workforce is doing nice issues. After all, that is a query I will must ask myself. “
A return of Evans to M-Sport?
Nothing has been achieved but for 2022 for M-Sport, the place solely Adrien Fourmaux appears to have a head begin after a number of days of racing within the Rally1 hybrid mule. For its director Richard Millener, Evans is clearly on the listing of candidates with whom he want to focus on for subsequent 12 months.
“It might be foolish to say that we’re not contemplating all of the choices”, mentioned the Briton. “Two of them are gone, for certain there are extra and Elfyn that may be nice. There are rumors that he desires to proceed with Toyota. He simply gained one. rally for them and he has a workforce constructed round him. “
“It might be good to have it [Elfyn] again within the workforce, it is a large query to see if he’ll come “, hammered the director of M-Sport, who believes that Ogier’s resolution might be a game-changer. “I believe the press has clearly proven what Seb [Ogier] desires to do.”
“We’ll speak with everybody we are able to. Proper now we’re specializing in who we now have and what’s the very best alternative. If one thing occurs within the meantime, a lot the higher.”
“Clearly we want to put a construction in place as quickly as attainable, as a result of it is vital for these we now have to spend time within the automotive, as a result of there will likely be a distinct technique to drive it.”
One identify that has additionally emerged as a possible candidate is former Volkswagen and Hyundai manufacturing facility driver Andreas Mikkelsen, who has raced in WRC2 for the previous two seasons.
“He [Andreas Mikkelsen] is without doubt one of the pilots that’s available on the market and it could be foolish to not argue with, however that does not imply we have gone additional than that “, Millener added. “He is doing a very good job in WRC2 and he would possibly prefer to be in WRC however there’s nothing greater than that in the mean time.”