Elfyn Evans: 'Only one stat I want - WRC crown' says Welsh rally driver

Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt
Elfyn Evans (left) and co-driver Daniel Barritt won the 2017 Wales Rally GB

Elfyn Evans is eyeing a World Rally Championship title challenge after joining Toyota.

The Welshman had spent his entire WRC career with the M-Sport Ford team before announcing his move at the end of November.

He will line up alongside Finland's Kalle Rovanperä and Frenchman Sebastian Ogier, a six-time World Champion, who was Evans' teammate with Ford for two seasons in 2017 and 2018.

"I've spent all of my professional career with M-Sport Ford," Evans, 30, told BBC Sport Wales.

"Toyota has been extremely competitive, and has done so in a surprisingly short space of time, and they already have multiple world championships to their name.

"It was a decision that I felt would put me in the best position to fight for these next few years."

Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017 and made an immediate impact.

They took two rally wins in 2017, and won the manufacturers title in 2018.

In 2019, Estonian driver Ott Tänak won the drivers' championship with the team.

Evans, from Dolgellau, hopes he can help maintain Toyota's success, and take the fight to reigning champion Tänak - now driving for Hyundai - and teammate Ogier, who won the world championship six years in a row between 2013 and 2018.

"I only have the one win to my name so far, and I definitely want to add to that next year."

Elfyn Evans in action
Elfyn Evans,in action for M-Sport Ford team, is the son of former British Rally champion Gwyndaf Evans

That one win was a special one. In 2017, Evans took victory at his home race, Wales Rally GB.

In doing so he became the first Welsh driver to win Rally GB, and the first British driver to win the rally since the late Richard Burns in 2000, the first year the event was held in Wales.

While every driver wants to win their home race, Evans says he isn't solely targeting the win in Wales.

"You go into every rally with the best intentions to win. It would be nice, but for now we'll be focussing on the first round. We want to win every rally, not just Rally GB."

Evans finished 5th in the 2019 drivers' championship, tied on points with 4th place Andreas Mikkelsen, despite missing three rallies through a back injury sustained on a heavy landing after a jump during a non-championship race in Estonia.

Evans is undeterred: "I have to be thankful to M-Sport for their support in that period, they reinforced to me that I had to make sure I was 100% and not to rush back," he said.

"The biggest thing that's taken the hit is my overall fitness, I've still not come back to the level I'd like, but I'm working hard to be fighting fit for the start of the new championship.

"I have no doubts about the injury - I'll be in full working order by the start of the new year."

Evans is staking a claim to being the best driver in Welsh motorsport history, perhaps only behind the late Tom Pryce, who won the 1975 F1 Race of Champions.

However, Evans says that isn't something that he's concerned with right now.

"I'm not that fussed with stats. There's only one stat that we all want, and that's the WRC crown.

"Unless it's that, I'm not really that fussed to be honest."

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