The Motor Sports Association (MSA) has congratulated MSA Team UK driver Elfyn Evans on securing a full-time drive in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship with the Cumbria-based M-Sport team.
Evans, aged 24 from Dolgellau in Wales, has been part of the national squad since 2011. The MSA has supported his progress in key areas of talent development through a bespoke performance management programme.
Evans was born into rallying, his father Gwyndaf being a former MSA British Rally Champion. In 2010 Elfyn won the Fiesta SportTrophy UK to become the MSA British Junior Rally Champion. He also won the 2010 Pirelli Star Driver shoot-out, the prize for which was a funded drive in the 2011 BRC; Evans duly completed the season with two wins and second place in the championship.
In 2012 Evans became the first British rally driver in eight years to win a world title when he was crowned WRC Academy champion, while also dominating the R2 class of the MSA British Rally Championship. This year Elfyn started working full-time at Malcolm Wilson’s M-Sport HQ, and made his World Rally Car debut on Rally Italy, substituting for regular driver Nasser Al-Attiyah and finishing a promising sixth overall. He also contested several rounds of the WRC2 championship, winning the final event on home soil at Wales Rally GB.
Robert Reid, MSA Performance Manager, said: “Elfyn has worked really hard to reach the top level and he should be extremely proud of what he has achieved in securing a full-time WRC drive in a top car. In some ways this is just the start for Elfyn; he will now be keen to establish himself as one of the top WRC drivers and challenge for the WRC title in years to come, so we will continue to do everything we can to support Elfyn next year and make sure that we help him to maximise his potential. Elfyn is further proof that if you have the talent and you work hard enough, you will get an opportunity.”
The announcement means that the UK will next year boast two full-time WRC drivers in Evans and Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke, who was this week announced as lead driver of the Citroen works team.
Rob Jones, MSA Acting Chief Executive, said: “The news that Elfyn and Kris will be WRC drivers in 2014 is absolutely fantastic news for UK rallying and I am sure that they will pick up where our late, great champions Richard Burns and Colin McRae left off. Elfyn’s promotion to the top flight is also testament to our MSA Academy and the Team UK programme, which is making a real difference to the lives and careers of Britain’s most promising drivers, not just in rallying but in circuit racing and karting too.”
13 December 2013