Elfyn Evans saved his hopes for a world title by ending second in Rallye d’Espagne, 24 “1 seconds behind winner Thierry Neuville. Within the championship, nonetheless, he was not a favourite in opposition to his teammate Sébastien Ogier who didn’t want solely six extra factors to safe an eighth planetary crown. The insecurity of the French added to his stable efficiency, nonetheless, allowed him to return to 17 factors within the standings, and thus preserve his probabilities alive earlier than go to Monza from November 18 to 21.
Likelihood of the calendar, the Italian occasion, which entered the WRC calendar for the second consecutive season because of the well being disaster, will once more award the title after a duel between the 2 Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers. The situation will nonetheless be diametrically opposed in comparison with final yr since it’s the Welshman who led the championship (with 14 factors prematurely) arriving in Lombardy. He then made a mistake on one of many specials contested exterior the autodrome on snow, and provided the title to the Gapençais on a plateau.
“My ideas are that he [le titre] continues to be potential and it’s in all probability a really related scenario to final yr, besides that the shoe is on the opposite foot “, Evans stated. “We all know something can occur, however we additionally know that Seb is a reasonably good man and that it’s going to take one thing fairly drastic to get previous him, however that stated, what we have to do at Monza is fairly clear.”
With roles now reversed, Evans retains in thoughts that it will likely be essential to ship one other large efficiency in Italy, with out additionally excluding enhance from Ogier may tip the top of the season in his favor.
“Seventeen factors continues to be a giant hole, so we have now to go there and attempt to win, and the Energy Stage may very well be essential as properly,” he recalled. “In the long run, it would take a mistake or Seb’s downside to be champion, however something can occur.”
Regardless of being second in Spain, Evans expressed his frustration at having solely been in a position to regain seven factors from his rival, particularly after his begin to the rally (three greatest instances on Friday morning) beneath management. Chief, he then struggled to seek out the suitable set-up and was unable to deal with Neuville’s return within the afternoon the place an error (SS5) may even have ended badly.
“It ought to have been extra [de sept points gagnés]”, he asserted. “It is like that now. We’re going to check out it and we already know among the causes. On Friday, the primary move, the street was nonetheless very clear so we have been in a position to drive a automotive that regarded a bit prefer to a race automotive and to have a great feeling. However sadly within the afternoon we had extra gravel on the roads and I actually struggled to really feel snug within the automotive to be trustworthy.”
“After all I obtained scorching on Friday, which price me dearly by way of lack of confidence and time. We tried to work on the problems we had on Friday afternoon to enhance the automotive, however sadly we ended up making small enhancements, however we truly misplaced slightly little bit of steadiness within the automotive which resulted in understeer. I actually struggled to really feel snug, so it has been a irritating weekend there. “