Evans ends WRC season on high in Australia

Reporter:

Gavin Grosvenor

ELFYN Evans ended his World Rally Championship (WRC) campaign with a fifth place finish in the Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

The Dolgellau driver was back in action following his historic Wales Rally GB victory last month when Sebastien Ogier was crowned WRC champion for a fifth consecutive season.

Evans struggled for grip throughout the final round and ended fifth behind the triumphant Thierry Neuville who secured second place in the overall championship standings.

Ott Tanak ended seconds with Hayden Paddon third and Ogier a low key fourth while Evans’ fifth placed finish ensured him a fifth place finish in the overall standings with 128 points.

Evans said: “We knew we would struggle this weekend, but with the rain we had an opportunity to use the soft tyre. It was a more enjoyable day for sure and it was nice to secure a stage win.

“It was unfortunate that we encountered a few little niggles after that, but all in all not a bad way to finish off the weekend.

“The season as a whole has been amazing for the team. We’ve worked with some great people this year who really deserve this success so a big thanks to all of them.”

Meanwhile Builth Wells driver Jason Pritchard endured a frustrating time in the Albert Clark Rally.

The four day event, which returned this year after a two-year hiatus, saw just under 100 classic rally cars take on stages across England, Scotland and Wales in an attempt to relive the original RAC Rally from the 1970s and 80s.

Pritchard led by 46 seconds only for his rally to be abruptly ended by a broken half shaft at the start of the Twiglees stage in Scotland on the third day of the epic rally.

“I’m so gutted to be talking about a broken half shaft and not what could have been, I loved every minute of the event and the challenge we faced,” said Pritchard. “

“I’m really proud of how the first three days went, to be leading at the time of retirement is still a fantastic achievement, especially as I’ve not driven on most of the stages and the conditions we faced along the way.

“I would like to thank the service crew for the hard work and long hours, Viking Motorsport for preparing the car and Sherwood Engines and Martin Jones Transmission for their continued support.

“A big thank you to all of my sponsors who helped me compete in the rally. North Road Garage Builth Wells, FCS Laser Mail, Professional MotorSport World Expo, Pirelli, Harkness Competition Tyres, Brian James Trailers, Leominster Car Auctions, Brace's Bread and Brecon Motor Club.”

Email:

gavin.grosvenor@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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