Evans on the brink in WRC 2
Evans moves within touching distance of support category success
Elfyn Evans is on the verge of his maiden WRC 2 win at Wales Rally GB after extending his lead through the mid-Wales forest stages near his home.
Evans began the third and penultimate leg with a 26.4sec lead, comfortable in the knowledge that the opening four tests of the day were based in Dovey Forest, less than 30km from his house.
He made local knowledge count by winning three of the four slippery gravel tests in his Ford Fiesta R5 to increase his advantage to more than a minute. He then controlled the margin through the final three tests to end the leg 59.8sec clear.
“On the whole it was a good day. We went wide at a couple of hairpins this afternoon but we’ve extended our lead and we just need to maintain it tomorrow,” he said.
Mark Higgins held second from Jari Ketomaa last night but a daylong engine misfire in his Fiesta R5, which Higgins believed was caused by a faulty valve, frustrated the Isle of Man driver. Ketomaa moved ahead in his similar car and ended the day with a 17.9sec advantage.
The Finn revealed he struggled for the first two days with a down on power engine.
“We had a faulty lambda sensor on the car from Thursday until yesterday evening. I knew yesterday’s stages well and I knew Elfyn knows today’s stages, so I pushed as hard as I could yesterday but I could do nothing with the engine like that,” said Ketomaa.
Higgins echoed his rival’s irritations. “It’s frustrating that I couldn’t attack how I wanted to on the stages that I knew a little better today. There are three tricky gravel stages tomorrow and hopefully the boys can sort it out tonight,” he said.
Eyvind Brynildsen lies fourth in another R5, having finally solved his engine misfire. However, the Norwegian dropped time late in the day with brake problems. Birthday boy Tom Cave and Edoardo Bresolin complete an all-Fiesta top six.
Yazeed Al Rajhi retired from fifth with a broken differential and Oleksii Kikireshko rolled his Mini John Cooper into retirement.
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