Home victory for Pirelli Star Driver Evans
The 22-year-old from Machynlleth in Powys, driving a Subaru Impreza on Pirelli’s Scorpion K6 gravel tire alongside navigator Andrew Edwards, beat British championship leader David Bogie by 17.7s following the demanding 10-stage event based in the town of Welshpool.
“What a fantastic day,” said Evans, who was competing in a four-wheel-drive car for only the second time. “I’m surprised the win has come on only my second event and to have proven myself so soon is a bonus. It means a lot to win this rally and sets us up for a championship challenge this season.”
Although the event was held in bright sunshine, overnight rain made the fast gravel stages damp and treacherous, placing a huge onus on tire performance. The Scorpion tires fitted to Evans’ TEG Sport-run Impreza provided optimum grip throughout.
“Thanks to Pirelli and the TEG Sport team and also to my father Gwyndaf [the 2006 British rally champion] who helped me with the set-up as it’s really helped the car,” said Evans, who set the fastest time on five of the 10 stages. “I feel there’s more to come from both me and the car I have to thank Pirelli for this opportunity.”
David Bogie, whose record of three-straight rally wins has come to an end (he won the BRC-opening Rallye Sunseeker and also triumphed on the first two rounds of the Scottish Rally Championship), holds a two-point lead heading into round three of the BRC, the Pirelli International Rally from April 29/30 following his second-place finish.
“Elfyn drove really well today and the best result I could have hoped for was second place,” said the Mitsubishi Lancer driver from Dumfries in Scotland. “I always knew it was going to be tough and I'm happy enough with second place and to maintain my lead in the championship.”
Adam Gould, a former Pirelli Star Driver, finished third in a second TEG Subaru despite a late scare when his car’s oil cooler broke and triggered a small fire. The Bristol resident had led early on and claimed three fastest stage times.
Mark Donnelly, from Omagh in County Tyrone, was the top Formula 2 finisher in his Renault Clio Maxi following a close battle with Draperstown’s Martin McCormack in a Citroen DS3 R3. Donnelly’s success hands him the second Pirelli Star Driver nomination of 2011 following Siim Plangi’s success on the opening event of the year.
Like their four-wheel-drive counterparts, all MSA British Formula 2 Rally Championship drivers use Pirelli Scorpion tires, thereby underlining the performance and efficiency of Pirelli’s tires on a wide variety of machinery.
“Congratulations to Elfyn Evans who has more than justified his selection as the Pirelli Star Driver for 2011 with this fantastic victory,” said Carl Naylor, Pirelli Tire UK’s motorsport manager. “Well done also to David Bogie, who continues to lead the British Rally Championship, and to Mark Donnelly, the latest Pirelli Star Driver nominee. The stages in North Wales are some of the most demanding the drivers will encounter in the British championship this season and the overnight rain only added to the challenge. However, the Pirelli Scorpion K6 tire performed extremely well in the difficult conditions.”
Next stop on the British championship trail is the Pirelli International Rally, which is based in Carlisle from April 29/30 and uses the high-speed stages of the Kielder Forest complex.