Evans: Monza test will be crucial to 2020 WRC title prospects

Toyota's Elfyn Evans says the importance of this week's pre-Rally Monza test cannot be underestimated ahead of next month's final round of the World Rally Championship season

Evans: Monza test will be crucial to 2020 WRC title prospects

Evans holds a 14-point lead over Toyota team-mate and six-time champion Sebastien Ogier heading into Rally Monza, which is set to go ahead despite Italy's ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

He is aiming to become the first British driver in almost two decades to clinch the WRC title.

With October's Ypres Rally cancelled because of the health pandemic, a second-place finish for Evans at the Rally Monza would be enough for him to become only the third British world champion after Colin McRae (1995) and Richard Burns (2001), even if Ogier manages to win the event and score maximum powerstage points.

Autosport 70: When Colin McRae ruled the world

However, as Monte Carlo is the only round where the Welshman has had chance to sample the Yaris on Tarmac since switching from M-Sport over the winter, he feels this is going to make his job much more difficult.

"Our pre-Monza Rally test will be quite crucial as we have limited experience of the Yaris WRC in that setting," he told Autosport.

"We really need to make the most of our test to ensure we're comfortable."

Evans hopes that the information collected from the Monte - where he finished on the podium behind Ogier and overall winner Thierry Neuville - and asphalt counters from 2019, can all be relied upon to help fine-tune the Yaris' set-up in the short window that will be available to engineers.

Apart from the Saturday leg of Rally Monza, which is going to be played out on roads north-east of the Lombardy Circuit, the bulk of the action is set to be held within the confines of the 'Cathedral of Speed'.

"The challenge with the event is that there are two very different characteristic of stages on the rally and it is difficult to prepare for that with a one-day test," added Evans, whose two victories this year came in Sweden and Sardinia.

"We aim to use previous data, especially to help with set-up for the mountain stages on the Saturday.

"While it's not exactly the same, we can take information from Monte, Corsica and Spain and have an idea of where we need to be."

shares
comments
Autosport 70: When McRae ruled the world

Previous article

Autosport 70: When McRae ruled the world

Next article

The Group B pioneer that transformed rallying forever

The Group B pioneer that transformed rallying forever
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Elfyn Evans
Author Jason Craig
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021