Elfyn Evans’ bid to add further success to his history making win on last year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB blasts off with next week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo, the traditional curtain raiser of the World Rally Championship (WRC) season.

The Alpine classic represents the 29 year old from Dolgellau's first race of the WRC season with Evans looking to maintain his record of four top eight finishes on the notorious mountain roads.

"It’s never an easy event. There are so many factors that come into play that you don’t generally get on a more normal round of the championship but it’s an iconic way to start the year. The stages themselves, if you take away all the snow and ice, are absolutely fantastic.”

Evans' Wales Rally GB triumph represented the first ever for a Welsh driver and the first WRC victory for a British driver on home soil since the late Richard Burns in 2000.

This season Evans has been promoted by his title-winning M-Sport team and will line up alongside five time world champion Sébastien Ogier in one of the Cumbrian outfit’s pair of front-line Red Bull-liveried Ford Fiesta WRCs.

“It’s a good place to be alongside Seb again this year," said Evans. "We worked together well last year, albeit on different tyres, so to continue that on now with identical equipment is a fantastic opportunity."

"He’s a fantastic benchmark to have in the team, has a lot of experience and is the best in the world at the moment, so you’d be a fool not to capitalise on that and learn from him. My aim, though, is always to try to beat him if we can."

M-Sport won both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ crowns in 2017 but the opposition from Citroën, Hyundai and Toyota will be even stronger in 2018.

Evans backed M-Sport to maintain its superiority, saying: "We already had a strong platform, we just need to keep nibbling away to find gains in performance.

"Hopefully, the guys have been doing that over the winter and we all will continue pushing hard with the support of Ford this year. There’s always been a Ford connection with some engineering support but that’s now stepped up a level. That should help us to improve and stay at the top.”

Evans relished the challenge of improving on his 2017 record in the globe trotting championship

“There are no rounds that I’m not looking forward to," said Evans. “" now have fond memories of just about all of the events. My focus this year will be to enjoy them all and to get the most out of each one, rather just targeting a handful.

“It will, of course, be special to be back in Wales. The DMACK tyres obviously helped to put us in good position last year, now we’re equal Michelin's to everyone else. It’s a few months away but we will be looking for another great result."