Elfyn Evans has told DirtFish he is “still not really thinking about” his commonly accepted status as a World Rally Championship title challenger and is instead focusing on becoming “at one” with his Toyota Yaris WRC on gravel.
Evans finished fourth on Rally México, 1m13.4s behind rally winner and team-mate Sébastien Ogier, but was hampered with a difficult road position on Friday and Saturday.
As championship leader he was first into the stages on Friday and due to the high level of attrition and a tactical switch-up by Hyundai, he wound up third on the road for the majority of Saturday.
That ultimately pegged him back from fighting with Hyundai’s Ott Tänak for a podium place, whom he started 0.2 seconds ahead of on Saturday.
“I think [Saturday] morning was quite strong to be honest, considering the road position and everything else,” Evans admitted.
“When it’s so early on on the road, it evolves with every car and we ended up with two cars between us [and Tänak] at some point, then obviously the help of Thierry [Neuville] came in.
“So, for sure there’s always areas we can improve on and we’ll be looking at that, but it was always going to be a difficult task I feel.”
While his fourth place can be considered a great result, Evans confessed there is still more to come from him as he seeks to get “fully fully comfortable” with the car on gravel.
“Before going into Monte I was, let’s say, 98% happy with the car. I was very happy with the car going into Sweden,” he said.
“After my gravel testing I was happy, but, let’s say, not completely at one. There’s been certain times at the weekend when I’ve been very, very happy with the car.
“The actual package is fantastic, there’s no doubt about that, but I still think there’s some fine-tuning to get me fully fully comfortable behind the wheel.”
With a podium in Monte Carlo and a win in Sweden under his belt, Evans is sitting a handsome second in the standings; eight points behind Ogier.
On becoming a title challenger, Evans added: “I’m still not really thinking about it to be honest.
“It’s a difficult time isn’t it at the minute? We don’t know what’s happening next [because of COVID-19].
“But for me, it’s still going to be rally-by-rally; do the most I can, and what comes at the end will come.”