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Friday, December 1, 2023

Breakthrough WRC win leaves Evans with blended feelings

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The Toyota driver scored a primary WRC win since Finland in October 2021 after he and co-driver Scott Martin got here by means of to chalk up a comfortable 27.0s victory over M-Sport’s Ott Tanak on Croatia’s asphalt stages.

Evans labelled the win as “insignificant” after he crossed the end line on the ultimate stage, because the rally group mourns the lack of manufacturing unit Hyundai driver Breen who died in a crash whereas making ready for this weekend’s occasion.

Reflecting on the second, Evans admitted he was relieved to return to the highest step of the rostrum, however says he’s proud by how the rally group has pulled collectively to pay tribute to Breen, and that his ideas at the moment are with the Irishman’s household.

“Fairly blended feelings clearly and it’s again to the truth now after being totally centered on the rally weekend,” Evans, who has now received a WRC spherical on all surfaces, instructed Autosport.

“It’s fairly troublesome to know what’s the proper factor to say. It’s had been a tricky week for everyone.

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“The entire WRC household will be pleased with how everybody has come collectively and paid tribute to Craig. It’s a nice displaying of his character and the way favored he was across the service park.

“The competitors went on as regular, it’s for positive what Craig would have needed. We went to see the household final week and it was their want that we made positive to take pleasure in ourselves. We promised that we might and we’re in a position to do this, however now it’s all over our ideas flip to them now.

“It was positively necessary to get this on the board. I’m clearly relieved from that aspect however it’s way more Positive begin total this yr than final yr.”

WRC crews seen paying tribute to driver Craig Breen

Photograph by: Crimson Bull Content material Pool

Co-driver Martin devoted the victory to Breen, whom he navigated for from 2014-2018, a interval that included the pair’s first WRC podium in Finland in 2016.

“It’s actually emotional. The feelings, I managed to maintain tucked away for a lot of the weekend however crossing the end line all of them got here flooding by means of,” Martin instructed Autosport.

“As we all know it has hit the rally group exhausting and we have been all collectively actually and obtained by means of this collectively, and it’s very nice and particular to win it. It’s one thing I’ll always remember.

“100% that is for him. He has been with us, with me watching over us all this weekend. I can’t put it into phrases how particular it’s. I feel it would take a number of days, weeks and months for all of it to soak in.”

Toyota boss Jari-Matti Latvala felt Evans and Martin have been the rightful pair to win this occasion given the current tragic occasions that has left the rally world numb.

“Coming to this rally it was very troublesome for the entire rally group and there are two features of be aware,” Latvala instructed Autosport.

“First we managed to get by means of this occasion safely with no drama or huge accidents and that’s one thing we didn’t need to see particularly after shedding Craig.

“The second factor was the most effective pair to win this occasion was completely Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin. This isn’t the workforce perspective however my private view.

“Elfyn and Craig have been associates, and Scott was Craig’s former co-driver, so that they have been positively the most effective pair to win this occasion.”

Evans is tied for the WRC championship lead with Toyota team-mate Sebastien Ogier, who’s contesting a partial season.

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