Final 12 months’s championship runner-up kick-started his season by recording a prime 5 at Rally Croatia final month, following back-to-back retirements at Monte Carlo and Sweden.
The Toyota driver admitted heading into Croatia that he may ill-afford one other expensive error after crashing out of a probable podium end in Monte Carlo and Sweden.
Following a measured drive to fifth in difficult moist situations in Croatia, that was hampered by two entrance left punctures on the rally’s first day, Latvala believes the outcome will assist Evans ignite his marketing campaign.
“He actually wanted to get a stable drive and he did the third quickest time on the facility stage, he obtained some good factors, so I’m glad for him and now he can begin his championship in Portugal with beginning place,” Latvala instructed Autosport.
“We don’t know what will occur on this championship however he wanted a outcome.
“Elfyn had a monster on his shoulder and that has now been shaken off.”
Fifth place plus three further factors from the rally-ending energy stage has added a a lot wanted 13 factors to Evans’ tally after three occasions, however the Welshman already sits 59 adrift of championship chief and team-mate Kalle Rovanpera.
Whereas relieved to get some factors on the board, Evans is already looking forward to the WRC’s go to to Portugal later this month, the place he’ll obtain a beneficial street place for the primary gravel occasion of the season.
Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
Photograph by: Toyota Racing
“It has been a troublesome run of occasions and this one in Croatia was no exception. Not less than we made it to the tip and obtained good mileage within the automobile,” Evans instructed Autosport.
“The ability stage was at all times going to be troublesome right here, however not a lot we may have completed by way of place with the tyres we had at the very least.
“I’m fairly glad with that we got here away with within the circumstances.
“Total to be trustworthy I haven’t had too many complaints concerning the automobile, it has simply been confidence actually within the filth and I needed to end actually and at this occasion there wasn’t actually scope for an additional mistake.
“We have now now obtained this one on the board and we will now transfer on and look positively in direction of Portugal.
“The concept was to get a outcome right here [in Croatia] however after the primary day and with the punctures we ended up a bit in no man’s land. It’s silly to take dangers for nothing. If we had been preventing for a outcome then we might have needed to [push].
“The plan is to get off to a greater begin in Portugal and hopefully get a outcome there.”
Toyota has started testing for Rally Portugal this week with eight-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier logging his first miles on gravel within the GR Yaris on Tuesday.
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