Elfyn Evans has described his early exit from Safari Rally Kenya as “clumsy” and “painful”.
Evans had been running in fourth overall after two stages in Africa, but just a few corners from the end of SS3 he hit a rock hidden in a bush that destroyed the front-right of his Toyota.
He tried to drag his Yaris WRC to the end of the stage but he quickly realized it was impossible, so parked up at the side of the road.
Speaking back at service, Evans bemoaned his “really early exit”.
“Massive disappointment really, bit of a clumsy error in a way,” he said. “The stone was sticking out a bit further than what I’d anticipated and what I had marked on the notes so a bit of a mistake there really and obviously a big shame this early on in the event.
This one feels a little bit painful to be honestElfyn Evans
“It’s always a massive disappointment to retire on something that could’ve been avoided. If you’d come a bit fast or you run a bit wide maybe then you expect that a little bit but this one feels a little bit painful to be honest.”
Evans did initially jump out of his car to try and see if he could repair it, but soon gave up once he’d seen what was broken.
“Oon an event like this, if there’s a chance to fix something you obviously have to try,” he said.
“I knew when I saw the wheel sitting so high in the arch it was very unlikely I could fix it but I was struggling to get the car up in the air to really inspect the damage, but as soon as I could see what was gone then I knew there was no chance to try and repair that.
“We definitely hope we should be fine for tomorrow.”
Dani Sordo retired on the very same stage as Evans, albeit in different circumstances. His Hyundai ran over a rock and a suspension arm broke, pitching him out of sixth place.
“Luckily we don’t roll when the car starts to slide because otherwise it might not be SuperRally tomorrow,” he said.
“But like you see in the video, in a straight line we take a small stone in the middle of the road which broke the suspension arm and after the steering locked so the car’s sliding, I can’t do nothing, and I just went into the bushes sliding.
“I was not pushing that much, I just was driving with no risk at all and I was enjoying a lot,” he added.
“I knew Safari was a little bit bad but it’s just bad luck, it’s like this. I was really disappointed but we can do nothing.”