Evans “pretty frustrated” to lose WRC Monte Carlo podium shot to mistake

Elfyn Evans labelled a mistake that cost him a World Rally Championship podium chance “pretty frustrating” as hopes of a decent points haul evaporated in Monte Carlo.

Evans “pretty frustrated” to lose WRC Monte Carlo podium shot to mistake

The Toyota driver was well placed to pocket valuable points, sitting in third behind teammate Sebastien Ogier and M-Sport’s Sebastien Loeb, both of whom will not be contesting a full season in the WRC.

After winning the day’s first stage, Evans set a blistering pace through the infamous Sisteron stage before misjudging a right-hand corner on the dry asphalt. It resulted in his new GR Yaris clipping the bank and coming to rest beached precariously on a hillside.

The stage was subsequently red flagged while a group of spectators helped push the car back on the road but the damage had been done.

The Welshman ended the day 26th overall, some 20 minutes and 39 seconds in arrears.

“It was pretty frustrating, it was going pretty good up until then,” Evans told Autosport.

“It was good morning overall and obviously I was going pretty well in that stage as well, and I just got caught out.

“I had information in my pacenotes to say it was unseen but it seemed to jump out of nowhere and I just braked too late.”

Evans paid tribute to a group of around 20 spectators that were able to help retrieve the car to allow him to continue the event.

 

“It was in a difficult position and thanks to all those guys [the fans] for all their help, and they were really good to be fair,” he added.

“We got back going again but obviously the damage is done.”

Evans will now focus on navigating through three stages on Sunday morning before the Power Stage, where he hopes to salvage some championship points.

Team mate Ogier leads the rally heading into Sunday, courtesy of a 21.1s advantage over M-Sport’s Sebastien Loeb.

Evans’ demise from third has handed the final podium position to M-Sport’s Craig Breen, who is aiming to score his fourth consecutive WRC rostrum on his debut for the British squad.

The Irishman has a 37.8s gap over fourth-placed Kalle Rovanpera.

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