Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA
WRC Rally Finland

Evans: “Quite mad” to match Finnish WRC greats Vatanen and Salonen

Elfyn Evans says it is “quite mad” to match World Rally Championship legends Ari Vatanen and Timo Salonen for Rally Finland victories following a second triumph at the iconic event.

Evans produced one of his most dominant displays of his WRC career to clinch a sixth career victory at one of the world’s most revered rallies.

The Toyota driver’s 39.1s win over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville ensured the Welshman is now the most successful British driver in the event’s 72-year history, with this win arriving after his 2021 success.

The result means Evans matches Finnish world champions Vatanen (1981, 1984) and Salonen (1985-86) for wins at their home rally. Evans is also among a select group of three drivers heralding from outside of Scandinavia to win Rally Finland more than once, joining three-time winners Sebastian Loeb and Ott Tanak.

Sebastien Ogier, Carlos Sainz, Didier Auriol, Markko Martin and Kris Meeke have each triumphed once.

“It is quite mad when you think of it like that,” Evans told Motorsport.com when reacting to the magnitude of his victory in terms of WRC history.

“It is quite a cool thing to have [being the most successful British driver in Finland], but it doesn’t change anything either in a way. I’m sure one day I will look back and be proud.“

He added: “It has been a great weekend, we have had a really nice feeling in the car and with that came the stage times quite naturally. It is obviously a great feeling to win here for the second time."

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

While the victory has earned Evans a special place in Rally Finland history, it has also ignited the WRC title race after championship leader Kalle Rovanpera suffered his first retirement of the season following a spectacular roll on stage eight.

Evans’ run to victory, boosted by a Power Stage win, has cut Rovanpera’s lead to 25 points with four rounds of the season remaining.

“It is true that it is still quite a big gap to Kalle in front and he is on great form,” he said.

“But of course we are here to challenge for the championship, and of course now there is a lot more light at the end of the tunnel compared to when we headed in here.

“It is unfortunate what happened to Kalle. I think he was quite unlucky and you never like to see that, especially in such a fast place.

“In terms of the championship, it is more on now and we will look forward to fighting for the rest of the year.”

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article WRC Finland: Evans storms to dominant victory from Neuville
Next article Katsuta: Rovanpera's driving tips key to WRC Finland podium

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA