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Elfyn Evans pleased with post-crash pace on Rally of Portugal

elfyn evans

Elfyn Evans believes he turned the Rally of Portugal into his best World Rally Championship performance yet when he rejoined after a first-leg crash.

The Welshman rolled his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC heavily on the opening day, but returned in time for the second leg, when he set his most competitive times so far - the highlight being fourth quickest on the second run at the 20-mile Santana de Serra test.

"It's fair to say that I've never been quicker in a rally car than we were last weekend," Evans said.

"It's been very good. This is a very big step forward for both Dan [Barritt, co-driver] and I."

Shunts on the stages and behind the scenes

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson said he had offered nothing but encouragement on Friday night.

"I put my arm around him," said Wilson, "and told him to forget what had happened and get back out there and give me the same pace as he'd been doing before the crash.

"He did that, his pace was very good.

"Oh, and I told him I wanted to see him smiling and be able to hear that he was enjoying himself on the radio. That's what we got."

Evans was quick to pay tribute to the team's response to his mistake.

"This really is the perfect environment to learn in," he said.

"If the team had put pressure on me on Friday night, then I wouldn't have learned half as much as I did for the rest of the event."

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