Elfyn Evans and Toyota Win Rally Turkey

Elfyn Evans and Toyota Lead World Rally Championship

Elfyn Evans took his second victory with the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team on a dramatic final day of Rally Turkey, where he rose from fourth to first position in a demanding longest stage of the 2020 season.

Overnight leaders Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul saw their 33-second advantage eradicated as they were forced to stop to change a tyre mid-stage.

Loeb and Daniel Elena, too, were struck by tyre misfortune as they nursed their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC through the final kilometres with a puncture, losing over a minute of time. They weren’t the only crews to experience trouble in the first run through Çetibeli, which transformed the overall classification.

The 38.15-kilometre Çetibeli stage was the first of two tests that would be run twice on the final day of the event, and that initial run over the rocky terrain proved to be highly eventful with a number of drivers having to stop and change wheels, including Toyota pair Sébastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä.

Evans on the other hand made it through the stage without trouble, setting the fastest time to surge into a 46.9-second lead. From there, he and co-driver Scott Martin were able to safely complete the remaining stages and secure a victory that moves Evans to the top of the drivers’ championship.

A fast wheel change from Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia allowed them to finish the day’s opening stage holding onto second place overall. Unfortunately, they had to retire from the rally on SS11 due to an engine-related issue. Ogier is now second in the drivers’ standings, 18 points behind Evans.

Rovanperä’s impressive rookie season alongside his co-driver Jonne Halttunen continued with a fourth-place finish: the 19-year-old’s fifth top-five result from as many events at rallying’s highest level. His result helps Toyota increase its lead in the manufacturers’ championship to nine points.