Daniel Barritt and Elfyn Evans missed an opportunity at this weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna – having the speed to challenge for another top result, before a small but costly mistake halted their charge through the early stages.
Up until the 13 kilometre mark of Friday’s opening speed test (SS2), the pairwere among the fastest through the challenging terrain.
But the luckless Welshman Evans clipped a bank and broke a steering arm.
Having the necessary spares to affect a repair mid-stage, the pairing got the job done remarkable quickly, but were then tasked with the unenviably job of sweeping a clean line through the loose gravel over the remainder of the weekend, going on to finish 14th.
Evans and co-driver Barritt will now use the summer break to regroup, before returning to Rally Finland, where they secured a sensational second place behind the wheel of the top-specification Fiesta last year.
Evans said: “It’s been a frustrating weekend – especially as the feeling in the car was really good on Friday morning.
“A relevantly small error proved pretty costly, and when you drop 13 minutes there is very little to fight for.
“We managed to salvage a point from the Power Stage which was some consolation, and now we’ll have a few weeks off before getting fully focused ahead of Finland.”
The Rally was won by Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) in 3:28:18.7, ahead of Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.7, with Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:56.3.
In the Drivers’ Championship Standings, Evans is seventh with 46 points, adrift of Thierry Neuville (149), Sébastien Ogier (122) and Ott Tänak (77). And in the Manufacturers’ Championship Standings, Hyundai Motorsport lead the way with 212 points, ahead of Barritt and Evans’ M-Sport Ford World Rally Team (184) and Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC (161).