The result marks the eighth podium of Evans’ career, and his first alongside Martin. It’s also the 29th top-three finish for the top-specification Fiesta which continues to prove its performance on every surface.
Rally Mexico is considered one of the toughest events in the FIA World Rally Championship, and Evans took that in his stride – not making a single mistake and delivering impressive pace and consistency throughout the weekend.
Regularly posting top times, the Welshman held second position for much of the event before being caught out by the loose conditions on the second pass of Otates (SS14) – putting him in a fierce battle with championship leader Ott Tänak going into today’s closing stages.
Despite having to settle for the final step of the podium, Evans and Martin should be proud of their performance and will aim to keep the momentum going when the championship returns to Europe and asphalt at the legendary Tour de Corse.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said: “We knew that we had a good chance this weekend, and Elfyn and Scott have delivered a really strong performance. They were one of very few crews not to make a single mistake and have shown the pace of the Fiesta on gravel – proving that we are going in the right direction with our continued development program. It was a shame to have lost so much time on one stage yesterday, as that second place was ours for the taking, but that is just the way it goes sometimes and we can still be very proud of what we’ve achieved. This podium was the result of a really strong team effort with the mechanics keeping the guys in the rally on Saturday afternoon. I am sure that we will see some more weekends like this throughout the year – and that is certainly our goal.”
Elfyn Evans (3rd) said: “It’s a good result, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed because second place should have been on the cards this weekend. Unfortunately there were just a couple of things that cost us quite a lot. That second pass of Otates cost us pretty dearly, and then we made the wrong call on the tyres this morning. “That said, it was still a good weekend and there are a lot of positives to take away. We didn’t make a single mistake and we’ve collected some good points that will give us a better road position in Corsica. Most importantly, we can see that we’ve made some good changes to the car and we’ll work hard to build on that throughout the year.”
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Citroen C3 WRC) 3:37:08.0
2. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +30.2
3. Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +49.9
4. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1:27.0
5. Kris Meeke / Sebastian Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +6:06.2
FORD FIESTA R5 QUOTES
RALLY MEXICO, SECTION SEVEN
Łukasz Pieniążek (1st WRC 2 Pro) said: “We were the only WRC 2 Pro crew this weekend so the win isn’t quite what it seems as I made a mistake on Friday afternoon. The stages were very difficult and we struggled to understand the grip levels which were changing all the time. It wasn’t an easy rally, but this is the time to learn and improve and for sure the knowledge and information that we gained this weekend means that we will be stronger in the future. Overall it was an amazing experience and the atmosphere was incredible. I am happy to be here at the finish, and I’m looking forward to our next event which will take place on Tarmac.”
Alberto Heller (3rd WRC 2) said:“It has been a very difficult rally for us. Yesterday I made a small mistake, but today was much better and I am really happy with that. We got some good kilometres under our belts and tried to gain as much experience as possible. Overall, I think we did a very good job with my co-driver and all of the team.”
Pedro Heller (WRC 2):
Pedro Heller went off the road on SS20 and was forced to retire his Ford Fiesta R5.
Press release M-Sport Ford