Latvala believes Evans can battle for title

Croatia Rally winner's 2023 consistency is remeniscent of his 2020 and '21 seasons


Last year it never felt like a realistic possibility. There was never any chance Elfyn Evans could win the World Rally Championship.

But having scored his first WRC victory since Rally Finland in 2021 under his belt, thanks to a win in Croatia last weekend, he’s now sat at the top of the drivers’ standings, level on points with Sébastien Ogier.

And Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala thinks it’s entirely possible that Evans could be right in the running for title glory all the way through the season.

“For me he is on the right track to fight for the championship title,” Latvala explained to DirtFish.

“I can’t say that can he win it because there are so many drivers now if you look how close they all are, there are so many hungry guys.

“But the way he has approached the season, he has all the abilities to win the championship.”


What Latvala means by that is the fact Evans is back doing what he does best – stringing together consistent results.

That’s what enabled Evans to challenge Ogier for the title in 2020 and 2021. He doesn’t always need to be the fastest, but he was always able to be right in the mix.

And this year, the consistency has been there.

A fourth on Monte Carlo, was followed by fifth in Sweden. In México he grabbed a podium with third and now he has his Croatia victory to add to the stash.

If you look back at 2020 and 2021, Evans’ results then were similar to what he has managed so far this year, and Evans himself believes he’s starting to rediscover the strengths that served him well in years gone by.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m in charge, but at least it’s been much more reminiscent of what I was strong at in the past,” explained Evans.

“[I] was always scoring consistently, always being there or thereabouts.

“Of course there’s still work to do and I can’t say I’m satisfied with all the weekend, but nonetheless, it’s good points on the board.”