Why a podium return doesn’t make Evans happy

At face value, third position was a strong result - albeit nearly three minutes behind his Toyota team-mates


A first podium in two events. Elfyn Evans has to be happy with that result on Safari Rally Kenya, surely?

Well, it completely depends on what way you look at it, and he certainly has his own view.

The two events prior to Kenya had been somewhat up and down for Evans.

A violent crash on Rally of Portugal was then rebuffed with a fourth in Sardinia, and then last weekend the Toyota driver went one better, putting his car on the bottom step of the podium.

Instantly, you think that it means his result in Kenya is a positive. He’s back on an upward trend.


But he doesn’t quite see it like that.

“In a way it was sort of the target coming here. But still we have two guys who have managed to drive at an incredible pace and still get through without issues,” Evans explained to DirtFish.

“So it’s hard to then feel happy about that, let’s say.”

But it’s not just the fact that his team-mates finished ahead.


We’ve previously written about how this year Evans is getting back to doing what he does best.

Bar his crash in Portugal, he’s been really consistent, finishing no lower than fifth, and he’s been racking up the points.

That approach is what served him well when taking the championship battle to Sébastien Ogier in 2020 and 2021.

But what pains Evans the most now is that in Kenya he wasn’t just behind his main championship rival – Kalle Rovanperä was almost three minutes up the road.

With Rovanperä’s championship advantage over Evans now extended to 41 points, it could be a tall order to reverse.

“It is hard to be satisfied when you finish like three minutes behind your team-mates, it is hard in that context for sure,” Evans said.


“But in one way we are here and scored good, reasonable points in the championship, although Kalle is extending his lead.”

Evans does however have one positive to take away from the weekend.

“I think it is a great result for the team and I’m happy to be part of that, of course.

“It is hard to be happy, but it could have been a lot worse considering it is Safari Rally.”

Words:Rob Hansford