Rovanpera dominance won’t change Evans’ WRC approach

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans says Kalle Rovanpera’s domination of the World Rally Championship won’t change his own approach to events.

Podium: Winner Kalle Rovanpera, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, second place Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

The championship runner-up for the past two seasons finished second behind Toyota teammate for the third time in the last four WRC rounds at Rally Estonia last Sunday.

Evans had led the runaway WRC points leader until heavy rain arrived in Friday’s final stage. The Welshman admitted he had no answer to Rovanpera’s pace on Saturday, before ultimately finishing 1m00.9s adrift of his stablemate, who sealed a fifth win from seven WRC rounds.

The result elevated Evans to third in the championship albeit 96 points behind Rovanpera with six events remaining.

Reflecting on Rovanpera’s form, the 33-year-old says his rival’s pace won’t affect the way he tackles upcoming rallies.

"You can never be fully happy when you finish second," said Evans.

"It’s not been an easy season up to this point of course, it’s good points again but like I mentioned, a tale of two halves. Happy to at least be on the podium again, disappointed not to be more competitive.

"More or less the [conditions were the] same for everyone, or let’s say, at least the conditions were changing for everyone.

"At the end of the day, we have to try and adapt, it was tricky out there in certain sections during the weekend.

"It was already a pretty long reach [in the championship] and it just got longer. Like I mentioned already, it doesn’t change our approach, we go to every rally to give our best and of course the team as well."


The WRC will head to Finland next month, the scene of arguably Evans’ most impressive victory of his career to date, when he became only the second Briton to win the WRC classic last year.

Evans says he’s already looking forward to the opportunity to tackle the iconic gravel roads that he tamed 12 months ago.

“Pretty keen, let’s wait and see how it goes,” he added when asked if he was keen to defeat Rovanpera on his rival’s home soil.

“It’s always a great event. You always can enjoy it so much and it’s always my favourite event, if not the favourite, on the calendar.”

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