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Monday, March 4, 2024

“Fairly mad” to match Finnish WRC greats Vatanen and Salonen

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Evans produced certainly one of his most dominant shows of his WRC profession to clinch a sixth career victory at one of many world’s most revered rallies.

The Toyota driver’s 39.1s win over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville ensured the Welshman is now probably the most profitable British driver within the occasion’s 72-year historical past, with this win arriving after his 2021 success.

The end result means Evans matches Finnish world champions Vatanen (1981, 1984) and Salonen (1985-86) for wins at their house rally. Evans can be amongst a choose group of three drivers heralding from outdoors of Scandinavia to win Rally Finland greater than as soon as, becoming a member of three-time winners Sebastian Loeb and Ott Tanak.

Sebastien Ogier, Carlos Sainz, Didier Auriol, Markko Martin and Kris Meeke have every triumphed as soon as.

“It’s fairly mad once you consider it like that,” Evans advised Autosport when reacting to the magnitude of his victory by way of WRC historical past.

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“It’s fairly a cool factor to have [being the most successful British driver in Finland], however it doesn’t change something both in a manner. I’m positive someday I’ll look again and be proud.“

He added: “It has been an awesome weekend, we’ve had a very nice feeling within the automobile and with that got here the stage instances fairly naturally. It’s clearly an awesome feeling to win right here for the second time.

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Whereas the victory has earned Evans a particular place in Rally Finland historical past, it has additionally ignited the WRC title race after championship chief Kalle Rovanpera suffered his first retirement of the season following a spectacular roll on stage eight.

Evans’ run to victory, boosted by a Energy Stage win, has reduce Rovanpera’s result in 25 factors with 4 spherical of the season remaining.

“It’s true that it’s nonetheless fairly an enormous hole to Kalle in entrance and he’s on nice type,” he mentioned.

“However in fact we’re right here to problem for the championship, and naturally now there may be much more gentle on the finish of the tunnel in comparison with once we headed in right here.

“It’s unlucky what occurred to Kalle. I believe he was fairly unfortunate and also you by no means wish to see that, particularly in such a quick place.

“By way of the championship, it’s extra on now and we’ll stay up for preventing for the remainder of the yr.”

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