Evans claims maiden victory in WRC 2
Elfyn Evans delights home fans with support category success in Wales
Elfyn Evans secured a breakthrough victory in the WRC 2 support category at Wales Rally GB this afternoon after dominating the four-day event in a Ford Fiesta R5.
The 24-year-old Welshman made the most of local knowledge after taking the lead on the second of the 22 speed tests on Thursday night. He was never again headed and after building a comfortable lead he measured his pace to win by 63.1sec.
Evans, who won the WRC Academy title last season, stepped up to the major support series this season. He finished second on the asphalt rallies in Germany and France before sealing top spot in the mud-caked forests of north and mid-Wales.
“It feels great to win my home round. Today I concentrated on driving cleanly and not doing anything silly. It has been a great learning experience with the M-Sport team and I’m grateful to them for delivering such a fantastic car,” said Evans.
Ketomaa, who took maximum points in Finland earlier in the season, led initially but was hampered by a misfire and fell to third behind Mark Higgins. With his Fiesta R5 restored to full health, he moved back ahead yesterday and headed the Isle of Man driver by 64.8sec.
“It’s a pity we had problems with the car but in motorsport things don’t always work as they should. We were very lucky to escape a huge fifth gear moment this morning and the misfire returned again in tight hairpins and uphill sections,” said Ketomaa.
Higgins suffered similar misfire issues yesterday, but the 42-year-old triple British champion was happy with a podium on his first appearance at the rally for five years.
“We had a couple of little niggles but it was a great weekend. I didn’t want to do anything silly today so I settled for what I had. There was a great atmosphere in the forests and the new venue for the rally was a great success,” said Higgins.
Eyvind Brynildsen ended a troubled season in fourth, 2min 21.5sec ahead of Welsh youngster Tom Cave.
Cave, incurred a hefty time penalty after changing the gearbox in his Fiesta R5 on Thursday night. But he stormed back up the order with a string of stage wins on Friday and also survived a sticking throttle.
Italy’s Edoardo Bresolin completed the top six in a Fiesta RRC.
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