M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Elfyn Evans races a Fiesta WRC for a living. Here’s what a typical day on a World Rally Championship event involves for the flying Welshman.
The 29 year-old has an especially close affinity with the Blue Oval that dates back to when he was a young boy. His father, Gwyndaf Evans, was also a Ford works rally driver.
“Growing up, my family owned a Ford dealership and still to this day we have a Ford dealership back in Dolgellau in mid-Wales. I used to work there right up until 2012 when I won the Junior World Rally Championship and I did train as a Ford technician. When my rally career is over, I think I’ll be back there,” he said.
When he’s not driving his Fiesta WRC, his normal mode of transport is an old diesel Focus. “It is left hand-drive, and it has done a lot of miles, but it’s really reliable and a very good car!”
06.00 - The great thing about rallying is that nothing is ever the same. On event, the alarm can go off as early as 4.30 but usually it’s around 6.00 I try and stay in bed as long as possible, and then I shower, dress and get a lift to the Service Park which is usually just a short drive away.
07.00 - Time for breakfast in our motor home while the mechanics work on the car during the morning’s 15 minute service. If the weather is looking changeable and we need to discuss tyre choice, I will go to the service area half an hour earlier and I’ll eat earlier.
08.00 - I’m usually on the road section heading to the start of the day’s first stage by now. You have to drive sensibly on road sections, but about 5-6k before the start, I try to get some heat in the tyres. Then, 3k before the start, I’ll stop the car completely. This is when my co-driver Daniel Barritt sets the correct tyre pressures for the stage, I get our crash helmets out of the back of the Fiesta and clean the windscreen.
09.00 - At the start of each stage we have to go through a complex start line procedure to switch the car into full-rally mode. It’s really important we do this to make sure we get the best possible launch. And then we’re off.
13.30 - We can tackle up to four consecutive stages in between services. In Corsica, for example, we left service at 6.30 and didn’t return until 13.30. If there’s any work that needs to be done on the car during that period, we have to do it ourselves. Normally we have a half-hour midday service and this is when the mechanics can get fully to work on the car. I don’t get involved in this at all – instead I review our in-car footage and try and gulp some lunch down. It’s very hectic.
14.15 - Time to head off for the next loop of stages, and we won’t be back in service until anything from 18.00 to 22.00. It all depends on the event.
20.00 - When we come in for evening service, we’ll do a full debrief and decide if we need to change anything on the car. Normally we have dinner during final service and then head back to the hotel, where I’ll spend an hour going through recce videos of the next day’s stages to refresh my memory. 22.00 I try to be in bed before
22.00 - However sometimes the stages run very late and your head doesn’t touch the pillow until 00.45. I sleep well, but you never get enough sleep on events.
Discover more about Ford’s latest hot hatch, the All-New Fiesta ST.