Elfyn Evans made an outstanding start to the 2020 World Rally Championship season by leading much of the Monte Carlo Rally on his Toyota debut and finishing third.
Any thoughts that performance might be a one-off have been rapidly dashed on day one of round two in Sweden – Evans goes into Saturday leading the rally by 8.5s.
DirtFish caught up with Evans to get his thoughts on another epic performance.
Q. It’s been almost the perfect day?
Elfyn Evans: Overall it’s been pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s been perfect, but overall really quite good. The new notes were working well and the feeling was good. It’s positive.
Q. If it wasn’t perfect, is there more to come from you and the car?
EE: The car’s been pretty good, there are just a few places myself I felt I gave just a few seconds away. It’s easy to push more and start losing time. We’ll just keep going.
Q. Tomorrow’s a repeat of today’s stages, you must be feeling confident going into them?
EE: We don’t exactly know what we’ll be faced with. A lot of cars have passed through them and we’ve got the weather for tonight to play out as well. Let’s see what we wake up to tomorrow and we’ll do our best to try to adapt.
Q. If it snows tonight, you’re in the best position tomorrow…
EE: There is that, we’ve helped give ourselves the best possible chance for tomorrow, but it will bring a different set of challenges.
Q. How much more could you give?
EE: It’s just the risk…
Q. How much risk do you want to take?
EE: You can take the risk factor up.
Q. Where have you been in terms of risk factor?
EE: I felt in a really good rhythm. We weren’t having huge moments, there was the odd slide here and there, but not exactly hanging it in ditches or anything like that. From that side of it I’m pretty happy.
Obviously I just need to bear in mind I tried to turn the wick up a little bit on the final day [in Monte Carlo] and went backwards – we don’t want to do that.
It seems when you drive this car well and really concentrate on good technique it rewards you with really good times. We don’t need to change too much.
Q. Will you change much tonight?
EE: I don’t think so. We don’t know fully what to expect tomorrow and we have a car that’s pretty adaptable to a range of conditions, so I’m happy to stay like this now.
Q. Would you like snow for tomorrow?
EE: You could say that would give me the biggest advantage, but at the end of the day it could make life quite difficult in the morning.
Q. Have you enjoyed it?
EE: It has been good. Obviously these stages are pretty fast. Normally you have ultimate consistency from the grip and you can enjoy those faster places a bit more, but today as soon as you come to that frozen gravel and those long, flat right-hand corners, the turn-in is just lazy.
It’s not quite as reassuring, but the car felt good. Normally I’ve always been fairly comfortable in those places, but with the conditions you have you just never fully know.