2023 Rallye Monte-Carlo: Elfyn Evans – “It’s a challenge I enjoy and hopefully we can start the year with a positive result”

The Welshman Elfyn Evans is returning for a fourth season in the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT as he will be on the start line in the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship season-opener in Rallye Monte-Carlo next weekend.

The two-time runner-up in the champion had a bit of a poor season last year without any wins but for this season the 34-year-old is hoping he could challenge again for the WRC driver´s title.

Evans is known for winning the 2010 British Junior Rally championship and was the winner of the UK Ford Fiesta Trophy series, also he won the Pirelli Star Driver Shoot-out after two days of tests in Wales which lead to a funded drive in a Pirelli supported Group N spec Subaru Impreza in 2011. The year after he won the WRC Academy title, as well as the R2 title in the BRC and the UK Fiesta Sport Trophy, the win in the WRC Academy resulted in him getting a WRC program as a prize for the following season.

However it was not the first time the Welshman would enter a WRC event, he entered the first event already in the 2007 Wales Rally GB where he ended up 42nd overall. He got his first real taste of WRC when he drove a Ford Fiesta RRC for M-Sport Ford WRT in Rally de Portugal, retiring with a transmission problem before starting the final day under WRC2 regulations and finishing 23rd overall.

Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

To his surprise, he was then asked to compete in Rally Italia Sardegna the very same year in a Ford Fiesta WRC after Nasser Al-Attiyah was forced to withdraw because of commitments in Qatar. Without any tests before the event, he surprised many by finishing sixth overall and this sparked his career.

He continued to drive for M-Sport for full-time between 2014 and 2019, taking his maiden WRC victory on his home rally in 2017 Wales Rally. He then joined Toyota for the 2020 season and he has stayed there ever since and has taken two podium finishes in Rallye Monte-Carlo for the team, his best Monte-Carlo result with Ford was sixth in 2014, 2017 and 2018.

“The WRC off-season is always pretty short but I was still happy to take a bit of a break and now I feel ready to go into the new season. Last year fell short of my own expectations personally, but we managed to make some progress and I’m hoping to be able to put better results together this season. The team is always working to evolve the car, and twelve months in to the Rally1 era we understand things a lot better.” Evans said.

“Like always it should be a competitive year but I definitely feel that we’re in a better place to challenge, and to fight for the title remains my goal. Rallye Monte-Carlo is a classic event and one that everyone wants to win. It’s always a big challenge, especially with the conditions, but it’s a challenge I enjoy and hopefully we can start the year with a positive result.”