Toyota star recalls the strangest episode of the season

Elfyn Evans did not succeed in the Rally de Portugal, which concluded on Sunday.
Elfyn Evans.
Elfyn Evans. Photo by: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
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Evans encountered problems as early as Friday, losing his chance to compete for the rally victory.

Ultimately, Evans finished only sixth, while championship leader Thierry Neuville managed to secure an impressive defensive victory with his second place and a haul of 24 WRC points. Before Portugal, only six points separated the pair in the championship battle, but now the gap has widened to 24 points.

“When things go wrong on the wrong day, then it can turn around very quickly,” Evans recounted

Evans faced numerous issues, particularly on Friday. Perhaps the strangest episode of the entire season occurred when Evans’ co-driver, Scott Martin, forgot his pace notes on the table before the special stage. Martin eventually pulled up the notes on his phone, and they managed to complete the stages this way.

“So it was just a case of looking for them, obviously. And then once we realised they were gone, we got them on the phone and saw how we could manage,” Evans laughed.

According to Evans, they had hardly practised for such a situation in advance.

“I mean, obviously Scott is prepared in that he has a spare scanned copy on his phone. I mean, he’s prepared from that side, but I think nothing can really prepare you for reading from a small screen,” Evans explained.

Evans also suffered a puncture on the same stage. The “phone notes” affected the performance but not dramatically.

“I was a bit nervous about whether I could follow, especially at the beginning, but actually, it turned out to be much, much better than I anticipated. And especially on stages that we know reasonably well, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have managed it,” Evans recounted.

However, Evans hopes that Martin will take the pace notes book next time.

“I think it’s easier just in case the battery goes dead,” Evans laughed.

The blunder on Friday is the worst thing a co-driver can imagine. However, Evans emphasised that it didn’t cause any rift between the pair. The Welshman didn’t throw his co-driver under the bus.

“There’s no issue, if you know what I mean. Inside the car, these things just happen, you know. There’s no issue,” Evans stressed.

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