WRC title hopes have gone from "bad to worse" - Evans

Elfyn Evans admits his World Rally Championship title chances have dropped from “bad to worse” after a gearbox drama effectively ended any podium hopes at the Acropolis Rally.

WRC title hopes have gone from "bad to worse" - Evans

Last year’s championship runner-up was in need of a strong result to stay in touch with points leader Sebastien Ogier, but is now left fighting for the minor placings after a transmission issue plagued his Friday.

Evans headed into the day sitting second overall after Thursday night’s Super Special and remained firmly in the hunt after the first of Friday’s gravel stages.

However, heading into the regroup before stage four, his Toyota Yaris developed a gearbox issue that resulted in Evans being late to check in, costing him a 40-second penalty.

The Welshman then had to complete the majority of the remaining three stages stuck in gear, which further haemorrhaged time.

Without a mid-point service to repair the car, Evans successfully managed to navigate the stages to reach the end of the day service sitting 16th overall, 4m46.7s adrift.

“It was quite a last-minute thing before we went into SS3, everything was fine after SS2,” said Evans.

“When we then put the power on and started to drive towards the stage, we found that we had an issue, so we then tried to find some quick remedies but unfortunately picked up some time penalties and then more again later trying to find some results with the problem. Unfortunately it was back to square one.

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“My paddle [shift] was not working at all basically but I had the means to go up but not down so then it was a case of, if you try your luck let’s say for certain sections to go up a gear, you struggle a lot then when it gets tighter.

“I think we tried to do what we could and the team was working behind the scenes, but there is only so much you can do in that situation.”

With team-mate Ogier within striking distance of the rally lead in third just 3.9s behind Kalle Rovanpera, Evans says his title hopes look much worse than they did at the start of the day.

“I mean the situation wasn’t looking great anyway so it’s gone from bad to worse, but it’s the name of the game,” said Evans, who is confident his gearbox problem will be fixed for Saturday’s action.

“I don’t think I’ve had really one technical issue since I’ve joined this team so, at the end of the day, these things happen and it’s a very rare occurrence here so I’m sure it’s just one of those things.

“I’m quite sure it is fixable let’s say there is nothing obvious with the information they had. I’m sure they can get on with it and get it sorted.”

The Acropolis Rally continues on Saturday with a further six special stages.

shares
comments

Related video

Neuville: I was more mechanic than WRC driver in eventful Acropolis Rally
Previous article

Neuville: I was more mechanic than WRC driver in eventful Acropolis Rally

Next article

WRC Greece: Rovanpera blitzes rivals to stretch lead over Tanak

WRC Greece: Rovanpera blitzes rivals to stretch lead over Tanak
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Plus

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022