Posted: Sun 29th Oct 2017

Wales Rally GB: Elfyn Evans just 25 miles from historic home success

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Oct 29th, 2017

Elfyn Evans kept the home crowds smiling on Saturday as Dayinsure Wales Rally GB delved deep into the Welsh forests, with six stage wins the M-Sport driver who hails from Dolgellau continued to zero in on a history-making moment.

After leaving his adversaries trailing on each of the day’s first five speed tests – two of which, Gartheiniog 1 and 2, passed quite literally behind his backyard – Evans maintained his composure through tricky conditions on the two eagerly-anticipated night-time stages to conclude the leg with an increased advantage of 53.1 seconds.

With low fog restricting visibility, the Welshman did not put so much as a wheel out-of-place as he bids to become the first British driver to win his home event since the year 2000, but behind him, the order shuffled dramatically as the scrap over the runner-up spoils intensified – and with it, the battle for Drivers’ World Championship glory.

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 -WRC Wales Rally GB (GB) – WRC 26/10/2017 to 29/10/2017 – PHOTO : @World

Hyundai team leader Thierry Neuville went on the attack from the word ‘go’, and it was only a determined effort from World Championship leader Sébastien Ogier that kept the Belgian out of second place at day’s end – by the narrow margin of just half-a-second.

Overnight standings

1. flag
3
Evans Elfyn – Barritt Daniel
Ford Fiesta WRC ’17
RC1
M
2:32:39.2 103.4
2. flag
1
Ogier S. – Ingrassia J.
Ford Fiesta WRC ’17
RC1
M
2:33:32.3 +53.1
+53.1
102.8
0.20
3. flag
5
Neuville Thierry – Gilsoul N.
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
RC1
M
2:33:32.8
0:10
+53.6
+0.5
103.0
0.20
4. flag
10
Latvala J. – Anttila M.
Toyota Yaris WRC
RC1
M
2:33:36.9 +57.7
+4.1
102.8
0.22
5. flag
6
Mikkelsen Andreas – Jæger A.
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
RC1
M
2:33:42.8 +1:03.6
+5.9
102.7
0.24
6. flag
2
Tänak Ott – Järveoja Martin
Ford Fiesta WRC ’17
RC1
M
2:33:45.3 +1:06.1
+2.5
102.7
0.25
7. flag
9
Meeke Kris – Nagle Paul
Citroën C3 WRC
RC1
M
2:34:06.8 +1:27.6
+21.5
102.5
0.33
8. flag
4
Paddon Hayden – Marshall S.
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
RC1
M
2:34:43.2 +2:04.0
+36.4
102.1
0.47
9. flag
12
Lappi Esapekka – Ferm Janne
Toyota Yaris WRC
RC1
M
2:35:20.2 +2:41.0
+37.0
101.7
0.61
10. flag
16
Sordo Dani – Martí Marc
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
RC1 2:36:15.0 +3:35.8
+54.8
101.1
0.82

Tomorrow will comprise five short speed tests totalling just over 25 competitive miles. That is what now stands between Evans and history, as the local hero edges ever-closer to becoming the first British winner on home soil in 17 years – and the first Welsh driver ever to win any WRC event outright. Stay tuned!

“It’s been a good day, with some fantastic stages,” enthused the 2016 Prestone MSA British Rally Champion. “I think the conditions played into our hands a bit, so we had to try to make the most of that and I felt we managed the situation pretty well. We took the DMACK tyres right to the very limit and they responded brilliantly.

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 -WRC Wales Rally GB (GB) – WRC 26/10/2017 to 29/10/2017 – PHOTO : @World

“I’m happy with our performance through the tricky night stages; in Aberhirnant, we could barely make out the edge of the road, let alone what was in front of us but we pushed on and I was glad to get through that one.

“I must say, the fans have been incredible – to see so many spectators lining the stages and road sections is fantastic. On long days like this, it’s vital to stay focussed and that support really gives us an extra boost. Looking to tomorrow, the strategy is to carry on the way we have been going. In the position we’re in, it would be silly to change that approach now…”

Sunday 29 October
07:00 — Service – Deeside Rally Village (15 mins)
08:34 — Alwen 1 (Stage 17)
09:08 — Brenig 1 (Stage 18)
10:06 — Gwydir (Stage 19)
11:09 — Alwen 2 (Stage 20)
12:18 — Brenig 2 Power Stage (Stage 21)
13:35 — Ceremonial Finish – Mostyn Street, Llandudno

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