Elfyn Evans refuses to be drawn into a discussion about the FIA World Rally Championship title battle as he goes into this week’s Rally Turkey (18 – 20 September).
The Toyota Gazoo Racing pilot lies nine points behind team-mate Sébastien Ogier with three rounds remaining, but insists his focus remains on individual rallies rather than talk of the championship picture.
“The position in the championship really hasn’t changed from last week,” said the Welshman. “OK, we’re one point further behind after Rally Estonia and that’s not ideal. We went to Estonia to try to narrow the gap, but nothing changes for me.
“We’re not in a position where we can start to play any sort of tactics or any games in the championship. It’s just a case of continuing rally-by-rally and Turkey will be a case of doing the best we can.
“It’s the same story. We know some people will have a better road position than we have, but Turkey’s very unpredictable and anything can happen.”
Evans missed last year’s Turkey fixture while recovering from a back injury and his speed the previous year was stymied by a transmission issue aboard the Ford Fiesta he was driving then.
Evans is well aware his Toyota Yaris doesn’t have the best record on rough roads, but he pointed to a strong pre-event test in Greece as evidence the Finnish-based squad is moving in the right direction.
He added: “The team has worked really hard and all three drivers were really happy coming away from the pre-event test. Of course, we don’t have any reference so we don’t know where we will be when it comes to fighting in the overall picture. But the one thing I can say is, let’s say in terms of the feeling in the car, it was positive.
“We’ve worked on all areas of the car. It’s quite clear rough rallies and high ride height were things we had to try to work on and we’ve been working on every aspect to improve it in those conditions.”