The M-Sport World Rally Team's Elfyn Evans secured his first FIA World Rally Championship podium on the Rally Argentina. The milestone achievement is thoroughly deserved and marks the next phase in Evans' development as a driver.
The Welshman came to Argentina determined to show a vast improvement from this time twelve months ago, and he certainly achieved that. Combining near flawless consistency with flashes of speed, he and co-driver Daniel Barritt have truly proved their potential this weekend.
Showcasing his speed with two third fastest times through the opening stages, the Welshman then played the sensible game – consolidating his position through the trickier speed tests. The car-breaking route demanded respect, which Evans duly gave and exemplified the strength and reliability of the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
The podium provided a perfect farewell from the original Fiesta RS WRC and provides the M-Sport crew with a huge confidence boost ahead of Rally de Portugal where the new-evolution Fiesta makes its competitive debut.
Evans joined rally winner Kris Meeke on the podium, the first time two Brits have appeared there since Rally New Zealand in 2001 with the late greats – Colin McRae and Richard Burns. This weekend's result has thus ushered in a new era of British talent at rallying's highest league.
Elfyn Evans said:
"It's been a crazy rally with so much drama so it feels great to have made it through with such a positive result. We didn't come here expecting a podium, so it really is a fantastic feeling which probably hasn't quite sunk in yet!
"Our plan was to air on the side of caution. We wanted to improve on last year, but we also wanted a mistake-free run which seems to have been the best strategy. The team provided me with an absolutely perfect car from start to finish, and we are here at the end because of that.
"I have to say hats off to Kris [Meeke] and Paul [Nagle] too. They did an absolutely incredible job this weekend. They were the fastest crew from the start and really controlled it from there on in. It's a great result for them, and a great result for British rallying."