Elfyn Evans addresses challenges with part-time drivers: “It’s frustrating”

Elfyn Evans is Toyota's leading driver in this season's World Rally Championship.
Elfyn Evans
Elfyn Evans. Photo by: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
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With two-time world champion Kalle Rovanperä and eight-time champion Sebastien Ogier both only contesting a partial championship this season, all the pressure within the Toyota camp is on Evans in the drivers’ standings.

Evans has started the season well, currently sitting second in the drivers’ championship, only six points behind the leader, Thierry Neuville, ahead of the fifth round of the season.

However, Evans remains calm about his new role.

“From my perspective, nothing has really changed. Seb and Kalle are both doing part-time seasons, but it hasn’t affected anything on my end. We still want to fight for the title, just like last year,” Evans said before the start of Rally Portugal.

The rally begins in earnest on Friday, and it’s predicted that the first day could be decisive for the entire event.

“Tomorrow is going to be a tough day, especially with no service. The loop is demanding on the tyres, and there’s an extra stage compared to last year. So, it’s definitely going to be challenging. On Friday, it’s crucial to stay out of trouble. We’ll try to have a solid Friday to stay in the fight,” Evans anticipated.

The points system in the World Rally Championship has changed this season and has been heavily criticised.

“In the end, you have to take whatever you can. We still need to focus on doing a good job, and it’s as simple as that,” Evans remarked.

The stages of the Rally de Portugal are familiar to everyone, making it challenging to create large gaps between drivers over the weekend.

“Well, it’s difficult, and the road position factor comes into play as well,” Evans acknowledged.

Evans has to compete against his teammates, Kalle Rovanperä and Sebastien Ogier, who, as part-time drivers, have much better starting positions. Evans wants to see a change and suggests reintroducing the qualifying stage, which would allow drivers to choose their starting positions.

“I think it’s been discussed quite a lot, so let’s see what the future holds. But it’s certainly a bit frustrating when it’s like this,” Evans admitted candidly.

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