Elfyn Evans hopes of a maiden World Rally Championship title were dealt a major blow on Saturday, as the Toyota driver crashed out of Rally Monza.
Meanwhile Evans’ nearest rival, Toyota team-mate Sebastian Ogier, currently leads by some 22 seconds to Dani Sordo and looks set to steal the title if he can outscore Evans by 15 points.
Evans crashed out on the 11th timed stage on Saturday in difficult conditions, with heavy snow a feature of the event – earlier forcing the rally to be halted due to two big crashes.
Speaking at the end of the same stage, Ogier revealed that Evans and his co-driver warned him to slow down to avoid the same happening to him.
“My first reaction was ‘don’t do the same’ – it was incredible,” said Ogier. “The corner he went off, I mean there was nothing you can do, it’s like being on ice. They (Evans and co-driver Scott Martin) slowed me down and I make just the corner. So it’s just like, I’m very sorry for him.
“Honestly with what I have still ahead the championship is not over. I have to make it through and it’s a very big challenge, I mean we had a good fight, we had good fun, but now the last moment is not like fighting it’s surviving!”