How 2022 has changed Evans’s perspective

WRC runner-up in 2020 and 2021, Elfyn Evans was left behind by Toyota team-mate Kalle Rovanperä in 2022


Just over two years ago, Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin climbed back up a snowy Italian bank to reflect on the world championship which had just slipped through their fingers.

Fourteen points up, they were sitting relatively pretty when a slippier than expected Monza Rally left-hander caught them out and sent the #33 Yaris to the trees. Twelve months on and they were, once again, in a final-round shoot-out with Sébastien Ogier.

This year? Second place was something of a distant dream. Fourth place and 121 points adrift of Kalle Rovanperä must sting a bit.

“It’s tough,” Evans told DirtFish. “Of course it’s tough. Obviously, I’m competitive and I want to win and we’re here to win. And when you can see your team-mate winning like Kalle has this year, you know things are working for him and the team.

“The team has worked – and is working – really hard for me. We’ve talked a lot about what we’re doing and how we can pull together. I know I have to make changes and I did that after Spain, and Japan was encouraging.


“But for the year, yeah, it’s tough.”

Especially after the silver medals 2020 and 2021 delivered?

There’s a pause and a furrowed brow. He’s almost analyzing his answer, putting the brain firmly into gear before he drops the clutch on the next quote. And there’s also a bit of bemusement.

“Those two years were hard to take,” he said. “Finishing second wasn’t what I was there for.”

If there’s a swathe of opinion that Rovanperä’s ascendancy to the position of a world champion has condemned Evans to being a perennial number two, it’s clear the Welshman missed that memo.

Elfyn Evans

This year has served only to stoke the fire in him.

“It’s been a hell of a thing to go from finishing second constantly and feeling pissed off with that to then having a lot of bad results like we’ve had this year. I guess we were taking the podiums and stuff for granted through [2020 and 2021] but this year they really haven’t come so easy.

“That’s the reality. That was how it was.

“Looking forward, the good thing is that we can see the speed it still there.

“The target’s the same for next year. We just know we have to go about achieving it in a slightly different way.”

Words:David Evans