With a big change for Welshman Elfyn Evans ahead of this week’s season-opening FIA World Rally Chmpionship’s (WRC) Rallye Monte-Carlo, the 31-year-old talks about his move to Toyota Gazoo Racing after a decade at M-Sport.
Evans and co-driver Scott Martin are teamed up with six-times WRC champions Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Hulttunen in what was ranked by many as the fastest WRC car in 2019, the Toyota Yaris WRC.
From a family of dyed-in-the-wool rally competitors, and following in his father Gwyndaf’s footsteps, in driving for Ford and then changing to a Japanese manufacturer later in his career too.
Evans and Martin spectacularly won the 2017 Wales Rally GB and will be looking to add more trophies to their cupboards as they change to the ambitious Toyota team.
Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017 in a team run by four-time WRC champion Tommi Mäkinen. This squad claimed the Manufacturers’ title in 2018 and helped Ott Tänak to take the Drivers’ title in 2019. The Welshman returns to a familiar situation: partnering Ogier and Ingrassia.
“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m really excited to get going,” said Evans. “Toyota has been extremely competitive in a surprisingly short space of time and already has multiple World Championships to its name – I’m looking forward to being part of it.
“The competitiveness of the car is a given, but what also attracted me to make the move from M-Sport was the commitment from Toyota to the WRC programme. It looks very promising for the future.”
He continued: “So far, I only have one win to my name and I definitely want to add to that this year. We want to win every rally, not just Wales Rally GB.”
Speaking ahead of his debut with Toyota at Rallye Monte-Carlo, Evans said: “On the Monte, the challenge is always the range of road conditions you can possibly face whether it’s dry, damp or wet asphalt or snow or ice. We got to experience a real mix of conditions, which is useful as unsettled weather is predicted for this weekend.”
The Rallye Monte-Carlo starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday 26 January. The Wales Rally GB, the penultimate round of the 2020 WRC calendar, will be held on Thursday 29 October to Sunday 01 November 2020.