Crossing the line at the end of the powerstage on Croatia Rally, Elfyn Evans’s expression said it all.
He didn’t know whether to smile or cry. His emotions completely and understandably conflicted.
His immediate reaction at the stage end was to explain how the victory felt all so insignificant in light of Craig Breen’s tragic death last week.
Working to get a first win since Rally Finland in 2021 has been Evans’ life for the last year and a half, but it all seems so pointless when reflecting on Breen.
And when talking to DirtFish’s Colin Clark, Evans was still naturally unsure how to feel about his latest World Rally Championship win.
“I mean it’s hard to know what to feel to be honest,” Evans explained.
“It’s been a hard week for everybody, with one side of the coin of course which is the relief of having the first win for a while. And of course the overwhelming emotion of it all winding down now is the news of last week again.
“So it’s hard to know what to feel.
“But of course, nonetheless we are pleased obviously to finally put a Rally1 win on the board.
“It’s obviously come at a fitting time.”
Before Croatia Rally got underway, many spoke about how fitting it would be if Hyundai were to claim victory in Croatia.
But in many ways, Evans winning is just as fitting, something Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala agrees with.
“First of all, I think the most important thing, the message of the weekend was that we could bring the rally to the finish safely,” Latvala said.
“No drama over the weekend and then the winners of the event was the best pair to have the winner because this pair, they used to be friends of Craig.
“Scott [Martin] used to be the co-driver of Craig and they went to the memorial event before coming here to respect the memory of Craig.
“So I mean when I see this, for me they were the best pair to win the event. Plus also they drove really well.”