This year’s World Rally Championship has been one of the best for many years, the excitement harking back to the bad old days of the Group B cars, only considerably safer. Although the accidents are often as spectacular as those lethal 1980’s crashes, the latest cars have proved themselves capable of protecting the crew to the last chunk of metal.
A British (well, Welsh) WRC Success Story
Fresh from his history-making victory on last month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, it has been confirmed that Welsh wizard Elfyn Evans will be promoted within the WRC title winning M-Sport team for the next year’s FIA World Rally Championship.
Following much speculation, Malcolm Wilson’s Cumbrian-based team has announced that the 28-year-old from Dolgellau has been rewarded for a truly impressive and hard-earned 2017 season with elevation to one of the outfit’s two front-line entries. Evans will be team-mate to five-time World Champion Sébastien Ogier.
Evans – not forgetting the outstanding co-driver Daniel Barritt – had been campaigning a third EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC on DMACK tyres but now steps up to M-Sport’s main attack, replacing Estonian ace Ott Tänak who has joined Toyota, piloting a Yaris. Evans, who finished in a fine fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship is understandably over the moon. He deserves the seat.
“After getting that first victory under our belts, we’re ready to take the next step and I think we all have another exciting season ahead of us,” he predicted. “Honestly, I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and Rallye Monte-Carlo can’t come soon enough. We’ll be working hard over the Christmas break to ensure we’re fully prepared, and the goal will be to build on the success of this year.”
Following persistent rumours that Ogier might call it a day after capturing a fifth consecutive WRC crown by season end we now learn that the French genius enjoyed himself so much rallying for M-Sport this season that he has decided to return in the New Year.
“This season has been very exciting with some of the closest-fought competition for years. As a driver, I definitely want to be a part of that,” revealed Ogier.
Looking Forward To The new WRC Season
Confirmation that Evans, Ogier and M-Sport will be back to defend their titles in 2018, was warmly welcomed by Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Managing Director, Ben Taylor.
“We are still buzzing after what Elfyn and the team achieved just a few weeks ago in Wales, but this is more fantastic news for all involved in the sport in this country,” said Taylor. “Elfyn thoroughly deserves his promotion to the M-Sport’s main line-up and to have him and Sébastien on the entry list for next year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is what we all wanted to see.”
In 2018, the UK’s round of the FIA World World Championship moves forward by three weeks to 4-7 October. Tickets will go on sale when the competitive route is revealed in Spring 2018.
After following this season like an automotive groupie, DriveWrite will be featuring a regular newsreel for this great motor sport; you will be able to use the links to easily access all the news and views that the WRC has to offer. Roll on January. Geoff Maxted