Evans leads close fight in WRC 2
Welshman heads the standings but Tom Cave was the fastest driver
Local driver Elfyn Evans heads a three-way battle for victory in the WRC 2 category of Wales Rally GB after Friday’s second leg.
Evans, from mid-Wales, leads a trio of Ford Fiesta R5 drivers separated by less than 45sec. He stretched his overnight 13.2sec advantage over Mark Higgins to 26.4sec during Friday’s six stages.
Finland’s Jari Ketomaa remains third, the same position he occupied on Thursday night, and is 44.3sec behind Evans.
Evans didn’t win a stage all day, but was the most consistent driver of the trio in the slippery and inconsistent road conditions.
“It’s been okay, we’ve not had masses of grip, and I think we’ve taken a few more risks,” he said. “The conditions are so mixed that you’re in the ditch one minute and then thinking you should have gone faster the next. There’s still a long way to go and you have to use your head in these stages."
Higgins kept Ketomaa at bay, despite experimenting with different suspension settings and getting a puncture in SS7, which forced a more cautious approach. “We had to be careful in the final two stages because another flat and we would have been out,” he said.
The leaders gradually pulled clear of the rest of the WRC 2 drivers, many of whom hit problems. Yazeed Al Rajhi is best of the rest in fourth, 57sec behind Ketomaa, while Eyvind Brynildsen is fifth after suffering all day with a misfiring engine and a throttle problem later on.
Edoardo Bresolin is sixth, with Fiesta R5 pilot Tom Cave seventh despite delivering the performance of the day.
The British youngster began the day last in class after work to fit a new gearbox on Thursday night overran by 26 minutes, giving him a 4m 20s time penalty. He responded by setting fastest times on five of Friday’s six stages.
“I got my mojo back,” grinned Cave at the end of Myherin. “It’s all about learning the car. The more time I get in it the quicker I’m going to get, and the confidence has been good all day, so I just kept on pushing. I have nothing to fight for now, apart from setting good stage times. I feel I can drive at this pace all day.”
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