Evans hasn’t worried about WRC title since the Acropolis

The Toyota driver says this week's Monza Rally feels like any other event, despite what's at stake


Elfyn Evans says the Monza Rally feels like “any other rally” and that his mindset is the same as it was after the Acropolis Rally, when he thought his World Rally Championship title hopes were “more or less over”.

Evans trails team-mate Sébastien Ogier by 17 points ahead of this weekend’s finale, having whittled down his points deficit with a victory on Rally Finland and second place on Rally Spain.

The Toyota driver has previous experience of a final-round decider as the roles were reversed ahead of Monza last year, when he headed Ogier by 14 points but missed out on the crown.

When asked to compare his emotions this year with 2020 now he is in the opposite position, Evans revealed he has not been focusing on any championship permutations since the Acropolis in September, when a gearbox issue limited him to sixth and left him 44 points behind Ogier.

“It’s completely the opposite way round but even though the points [are similar] – 14 compared to 17 – I think even those extra three actually make a big difference when you start to look at the points table,” Evans told DirtFish.

“Fourteen was the difference between somebody winning the rally and the powerstage, and you were still on the podium but it wasn’t enough to get the championship. Whereas 17, it’s a pretty big gap.

“There’s not a lot that’s changed really in my mind to be honest since Greece. For me it was more or less over then, and of course we’ve just gone to every rally with a view of getting what we can out of them and it’s the same here really.

“We know if we want a realistic shot we need to win the rally but that’s never been different to any other rally, the aim’s always to try and do the best you can and win.


“It is different to last year, there’s no question about that, but actually this one is not so different to any other rally to me.”

Evans would likely have been closer to Ogier were it not for what he described as a “mediocre” run in the middle of the season.

His form has however picked up in recent events off the back his problem in Greece and a crash earlier in the season on Safari Rally Kenya – where he ripped a wheel off his Yaris by hitting a rock obscured in a bush.

“There’s not been a huge change on my side really,” said Evans, when asked where his turnaround had come from.

Elfyn Evans
It's easy to think there was something major wrong but I just think I happened to have a couple of rallies where things didn't work out Elfyn Evans

“We had a pretty bad middle of the year, taking a wheel off in Safari being the most damaging one of all because whenever you score a zero like that it’s painful.

“In Greece, relative to our road position, the performance was quite OK to be honest; after losing all that time there seemed to be speed there, so we had a patch of probably Safari, Ypres and Estonia in the middle of the year where things didn’t work out.

“But again on the contrary, Estonia was like a complete role reversal for me and Kalle [Rovanperä] if you like. Kalle was really happy, clicked with everything in Estonia and he went on and it seemed easy for him and I struggled like hell to do anything.


“And Finland was the opposite. So it just goes to show that when everything clicks together with the car and all the rest of it that things come together.

“I just didn’t have that feeling in Ypres or Estonia and you just add the mistake in Safari then a small issue in Greece and it turns two mediocre results into a run of four really bad events.

“It’s very easy to look at it like it’s some massive problem but it was also the case that we had five podiums from six rallies at the start of the year.

“On paper it’s easy to think there was something major wrong but I just think I happened to have a couple of rallies where things didn’t work out together really.”