Elfyn Evans has retired from Rally New Zealand after sustaining rollcage damage from a crash on SS9.
Midway through the Puhoi test Evans lost the rear of his car and hit a bank. That appeared to send him into a spin, causing damage to the tailgate and radiator, but when he returned to service, Evans confirmed that he had actually rolled the car.
“Yeah, just downhill braking into a medium speed right and I lost the rear in the braking,” Evans explained.
“Couldn’t unfortunately get it back and we touched the bank on the inside and rolled on the road.
“Thankfully landed on our wheels and got on our way.”
Evans finished the stage, but lost half a minute, costing him the rally lead. He then conducted a bush-fix on the Yaris’ radiator allowing him to head to SS10, but that stage was subsequently canceled after Gus Greensmith’s crash.
That appeared to be an advantage for Evans, limiting any further time loss, but when he got the car back to service, the team discovered that there was damage to the rollcage which meant that he has been forced to retire for the day.
“Unfortunately I have some negative news because we have been investigating the car together with our team and the FIA and noticed that there is rollcage damage,” said Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala.
“So we have to retire the car from the day.
“For this day it’s over, but once after these services we have more time to investigate we look at what could be done so we don’t know about Sunday yet.”
But after inspection of the car, it was established that the main tube of the rollcage was damaged, something that the team is unable to repair on-site and as such, Evans has been forced to retire from the rest of the event and will not restart on Sunday.