M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener believes Elfyn Evans’ decision to leave the team and join Toyota will “make or break his career.”
Welshman Evans drove an M-Sport for five full seasons in the World Rally Championship, claiming a breakthrough victory at home in 2017 and scoring a pair of fifth places in the championship in ’17 and ’19.
And Evans has made a flying start to life as a Toyota driver, winning on his second start in Sweden and challenging for victory on debut in Monte-Carlo.
After three rounds, he lies second in the championship – eight points adrift of team-mate Sébastien Ogier.
When asked by DirtFish if Evans’ impressive performances are a legacy of the comfort of being backed by a full factory car, Millener said: “I think maybe there’s a little bit [of that], but I also think the main thing is he’s moved, he knows that this is his opportunity to prove [himself] and probably this will make or break his career.
“And I think at that point then, he knew that he had to push on. And regardless of the team he was in, he was turning a corner at the end of last year and showed in the first few rallies this year exactly how good he is. Good luck to him, and we all want to see him be world champion.”
Should Evans become world champion, he’d be just the third British driver ever to do so after Colin McRae in 1995 and Richard Burns in 2001.
Toyota team principal Tommi Mäkinen has been impressed with Evans since he joined the team and sees no reason why he can’t continue to succeed for Toyota.
“I’m absolutely happy at the moment with my drivers, and I wouldn’t like to do any changes,” he said.