Elfyn Accepts “Solid” Start With Third Place

Elfyn Evans reckons third place on the Monte Carlo Rally is a solid start to his bid for the World Rally Championship crown.


The Toyota driver led after the second day on Friday before hybrid mechanical issues hit his hopes on Saturday.


Evans has now switched his focus to the next round in Sweden next month after finishing behind Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and Toyota team-mate Sebastien Ogier.


“We showed that the potential to win was there this weekend but we just missed the feeling on Saturday afternoon for some reason,” said the 35-year-old from Dolgellau.


“Today was much better. There was a real mix of conditions again but we had to keep pushing to score some more points under the new system and it turned out OK. It’s been a solid enough weekend.


“We always want to win, but above all I really wanted to finish this rally with solid points and we’ve done that. Long term we want to win rallies and we will see what’s possible on the next rally in Sweden.”


Evans and Ogier were involved in an exciting fight for victory throughout the event, where drivers faced a challenging mix of conditions on the asphalt roads of the French Alps even if they were generally drier than usual.


Ogier spectacularly claimed the lead during Saturday afternoon when he recorded the 700th stage win of his WRC career, and ultimately went into the final day on Sunday just 3.3 seconds away from first-placed Neuville.


Despite his best efforts in pursuit of a record-extending victory in Monte Carlo, Ogier and his co-driver Vincent Landais would eventually have to settle for second place, finishing 16.1s behind the winner.


Evans and his co-driver Scott Martin made an excellent start to their season when the rally got underway on Thursday night, claiming an early lead that they held until Saturday morning.


After banking good points under the championship’s new format by ending the penultimate day in third, Evans continued to push hard on Sunday when additional points were on offer for the fastest drivers.


He took second in Sunday’s separate classification, plus fourth in the rally-ending Power Stage, to end the weekend with 21 points and third place in the standings. Ogier, who was second in the Power Stage and third-fastest across Sunday, is second on 24 points.


Monte Carlo Rally (Top 10)


1 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) 3h9m30.9s

2 Sébastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +16.1s

3 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +45.2s

4 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) +1m59.8s

5 Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1 HYBRID) +3m36.9s

6 Andreas Mikkelsen/Torstein Eriksen (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) +5m34.6s

7 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) +8m28.5s

8 Yohan Rossel/Arnaud Dunand (Citroën C3 Rally2) +10m29.8s

9 Pepe López/David Vázquez (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) +10m33.8s

10 Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Citroën C3 Rally2) +10m45.2s

(Results as of 13:30 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)


2024 FIA World Rally Championship for drivers (after Round One)


1 Thierry Neuville 30 points

2 Sébastien Ogier 24

3 Elfyn Evans 21