June 14, 2024 New York

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This Week In Motors - ThisWeekInMotors > Blog > World Rally Championship > EVANS’ PORTUGAL SETBACK HAS A SILVER LINING


A Positive Departure: How Elfyn Evans Turned Around His Portugal Experience

After a challenging Rally Portugal, Elfyn Evans departed amidst some adversity. However, amidst the setbacks, he managed to uncover a glimmer of hope.

The Matosinhos event proved to be tough for the Toyota standout. Encountering a puncture and losing a set of pacenotes on Friday exacerbated the issues surrounding the setup of his Yaris Rally1. By the conclusion of Sunday’s stages, Evans found himself trailing championship leader Thierry Neuville by 24 points, a significant increase from the initial six-point gap.

Nevertheless, amidst the trials and tribulations, Evans stumbled upon a setup adjustment for Sunday that provided some semblance of improvement, despite not reflecting prominently in the timing sheets.

Reflecting on his performance post-rally, Evans remarked, “I think things were notably better today (Sunday) compared to the rest of the weekend, but there are still areas of concern that affect my confidence levels. That’s something we need to address, despite the progress made not entirely translating into results.”

The challenges extended beyond Evans, with all Toyota drivers struggling to optimize the front end of the Yaris during the opening stages. Even eventual winner Sébastien Ogier noted issues with his car’s responsiveness, describing it as ‘lazy.’

Evans emphasized the importance of resolving these setup issues, particularly with the upcoming Sardinia rally in focus, where the conditions demand precision and adaptability. With Neuville extending his lead, Evans acknowledges the necessity of closing the gap by maximizing performance in the Yaris.

He underscored the significance of each rally, despite the setbacks faced in Portugal, emphasizing the need to seize opportunities in Sardinia.

An additional positive note is Evans’ familiarity with the Yaris performance on rough terrains, gained from the compromised setup in Portugal, which was influenced by concurrent testing for Sardinia.

In conclusion, Evans remains optimistic, acknowledging the progress made despite the challenges encountered. He remains committed to fine-tuning the car to his preferences, aiming for improved performance in the upcoming rounds.

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