Elfyn Evans is back in the WRC, but this time in a development role in the support Fiesta R5 programme.
Elfyn Evans will take to the wheel of the new evolution Ford Fiesta R5 for a programme in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship.
Contesting the WRC’s principal support category, Evans’ appointment will prove the extensive upgrades M-Sport has achieved with the globally successful Fiesta R5.
Following more than six months of development, a number of jokers were solely allocated to increasing engine performance with updates to the cylinder head, pistons, inlet and exhaust cam, exhaust manifold as well as a new clutch/flywheel.
The firm’s dedicated team of engineers and designers have achieved an incredible gain of 32bhp at 4500rpm and 56Nm of torque at 4000rpm – the single best development step in any M-Sport engine.
The remaining jokers will be used for chassis related upgrades which are due to be released in March 2016. Items currently being investigated include improvements to the rear aerodynamic device, front bumper, suspension arms, Reiger dampers and auxiliary lighting.
Having secured two podium finishes behind the wheel of the M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC in 2015, Evans is a proven contender and his skill will be used to prove the extent of the team’s latest upgrades – confirming the Blue Oval’s position at the top of the WRC 2 standings.
The Welshman has been confirmed to start both Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Sweden and will be joined by Oswestry-based co-driver Craig Parry – a proven navigator with 37 WRC starts to his name, mostly alongside Tom Cave in another Fiesta.
Elfyn said, “This programme will allow me to continue my development as I gain further experience of the FIA World Rally Championship events.
“I know the Ford Fiesta R5 to be a competitive car and the upgrades look extremely promising. I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel and proving the extent of M-Sport’s development.
“I would also like to thank Dan [Barritt] for what has been three great years of co-operation. His knowledge and experience has taught me a great deal and I am extremely grateful for all he has done.
“Now it’s time to start a new chapter with a new co-driver and I am looking forward to working with Craig as we look to achieve our shared goals and ambitions.”
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, added, “We were keen to keep Elfyn in the team and this programme will allow him to continue his progression and gain further experience away from the pressures of the top flight.
“Launching the new evolution Fiesta R5, we were eager to have an experienced driver behind the wheel and I believe that Elfyn will do a great job of proving the extent of our upgrades.
“The Fiesta R5 was already a highly competitive package – winning the FIA European Rally Championship last year – and these upgrades should see Elfyn keep our latest Fiesta at the top of the WRC 2 standings.”