Elfyn Evans wins first title of new British Rally Championship era

Elfyn Evans clinched the first British Rally Championship title of the series' new era with Ulster Rally victory

Elfyn Evans wins first title of new British Rally Championship era

The Welshman mirrors the achievement of his father, Gwyndaf (pictured above), who also sealed the BRC title on the same rally in 1996, 20 years before Elfyn.

The 2016 event proved to be treacherous for drivers, with mixed weather conditions on the Derry/Londonderry-based rally's narrow, tricky stages. Tyre choice was almost impossible for crews as they headed out from service into conditions that often changed on them.

Evans - driving a DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 - held a narrow lead after the first day on Friday, just over three seconds up on double BRC champion Keith Cronin.

The Irishman was benefiting from updates on his Citroen DS 3 R5, driving "conservatively" following a string of retirements in 2016.

But the man to beat at first had been Alastair Fisher - nephew of famous Irish driver Bertie - before a puncture and a spin on consecutive stages relegated him down the order.

Evans extended his lead through Saturday morning and into the early afternoon, and that advantage grew when Cronin was late out of the last service due to gearbox issues.

That sent him down the order and promoted his reliable team-mate Jonny Greer to third behind Fisher, who had usurped Greer on the last stage before service.

Evans survived the tough loop of three final stages, including the testing 15-mile Rousky, to take the title with a round to spare - even though the Isle of Man finale next month awards double points.

His closest pre-rally rivals Tom Cave and Fredrik Ahlin had tough weekends - Cave delayed by a driveshaft failure and puncture, Ahlin by two trips off the road.

Vauxhall Adam driver Robert Duggan followed Evans's lead by also taking a title as he won the Junior BRC on the rally and in the standings.

That awards him a subsidised entry into the Drive DMACK Trophy - which supports the World Rally Championship - for next year.

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