‘Fighting against your closest ally’ – Toyota’s showdown

The Toyota team-mates are both heading to the WRC finale eyeing the title, and look forward to facing off


Elfyn Evans says he and Toyota team-mate Sébastien Ogier are “looking forward to competing against each other” for the World Rally Championship title on Monza Rally next month.

Ogier and Evans have always enjoyed a good relationship, first linking up as team-mates back in 2017 at M-Sport, when Evans drove a third car for the team using DMACK tires, with that partnership continuing into 2018.

The world championship was won by Ogier in both of those years, and he then returned to Citroën for an ultimately unsuccessful 2019 that led to the manufacturer pulling out after he jumped ship to join Toyota.

Evans followed suit and the pair have worked impeccably together, sharing three of the six rally victories thus far this year and occupying the top two spots in the standings.

However, 2020 is the first time that Evans has been a genuine title contender. Six-time world champion Ogier has been here before, but heading to the final round with the chance to win the title is a new situation for Evans.

When asked by DirtFish’s Colin Clark in an exclusive video interview if Evans was able to lean on Ogier for advice on how to deal with the pressures of the situation, Evans said: “Not so much to be honest!

“Obviously it’s a difficult situation when you’re fighting against one of your, let’s say closest allies in the championship so it’s been fantastic working with Seb this year and we’ve got on very well.


Photo: M-Sport

“And of course, we’re looking forward to competing against each other now on the final round but of course I guess there has to be some sort of realistic line about how much I can lean on him for advice when we’re ultimately fighting for the same championship.

“But like I say, he’s been a real joy to work with and he’s been very fair as team-mate I feel.”

Heading to Monza Rally, Evans heads Ogier by 14 points so can afford to finish behind his team-mate; but not too far behind.

But he admitted this isn’t his strategy. Instead, Evans plans to attack the rally like any other, making sure he aces his pre-event preparation and keeps his mind focused on the job at hand.

“Obviously we’re looking to try and get as much as we can out of the final round and ultimately although a lot of people see the points gap as quite big, it’s ultimately all still very open and we know that the reward for winning a rally and maximum powerstage points gives you a lot of points and therefore we still have to be at our best when we arrive at Monza,” he told DirtFish.

“The thing for me is just to remain focused basically and we know what we have to do and the easiest way to achieve that is to basically prepare as well as we can and be prepared to go to the rally and give it our all.”