Elfyn Evans takes best finish in Spain | 8 October 2017
Elfyn Evans and Dan Barritt overcame a tough weekend at Rally RACC – Rally de EspaÃ±a to secure their best-ever finish on the mixed-surface event and move to within one point of the top-five in the championship standings.
At the wheel of their M-Sport World Rally team Ford Fiesta WRC, they debuted DMACK’s new DMG+22 gravel tyres recently introduced for the final three rounds of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship season.
However, the opening day on Friday saw crews tackle six gravel stages and unusually high temperatures of over 30 degrees, mixed with abrasive roads, proved a stern test for the medium compound. Evans maintained a consistent pace and returned to service in Salou where a specially-extended service saw cars transformed to Tarmac specification for the final two days.
The action moved to the fast, flowing asphalt roads in the hills to the north of Salou where Evans continued his solid drive and, while other crews were side-lined after getting caught out on the many rough cuts, he cruised home to finish seventh.
It was a double celebration for local stars Nil Solans and Miki Ibanez on their home rally. After claiming the WRC 3 title in Germany, they were crowned 2017 Junior WRC Champions* after winning their fourth event of the season.
In doing so, they collected all seven prize drives for next season’s WRC 2 championship as they step up to a Fiesta R5 for a full championship campaign in 2018.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “It has been a difficult event as we gambled a little with our new compounds to give Elfyn and M-Sport the best possible choices for Rally GB. Unfortunately, unlike last year, the conditions just didn’t work for us here this time and now we must focus completely on our home event.”
Elfyn said: “We’ve not had the best of weekends and it has been a challenge in these conditions. We did the best job we could and overall it’s important to gather the information to move forward. It’s my home event next where the conditions will be different, so we need to concentrate on and prepare well for it.”
*subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.