Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Elfyn Evans dedicated his Rally Croatia victory to his friend and fellow competitor Craig Breen, who sadly passed away in the build-up to the event.
The Welsh driver inherited the lead after Thierry Neuville retired from the event on Saturday, and speaking following the action he commented saying:
“Obviously we have been working for another win like this for a long time but that doesn’t mean so much right at this moment. It’s been a tough week for everybody and the whole WRC family can be proud of how everyone has come together and paid tribute to Craig. Competition went on as usual, as he would have wanted. It seemed a bit of a tall order to win here with our road position on Friday with the amount of dirt on the road, but some others hit trouble and that gave us an opportunity to fight for the win. Scott and myself promised Craig’s family that we would enjoy this weekend and we’ve been able to do that. Now it’s all over, our thoughts turn back to them.”
Kalle Rovanpera came home in fourth place and speaking following the action the Finn commented saying:
“It has not been a great weekend in terms of result but in the end we did what we could. It was a great fight with Seb and to come out on top is not so bad. Of course, we don’t want to be fighting for fourth, but that’s all we could really do after Friday. We didn’t start the weekend well; we made a small mistake with the setup, but after that the car was good so thank you to the team. We tried to push hard on the Power Stage and got some good points at the end of the weekend.”
Sebastien Ogier ended the rally in fifth place and speaking following the action he commented saying:
“It has been a tough week. From a sporting point of view, we had the pace to do much better but things did not go our way this weekend. That’s motorsport sometimes. It was quite difficult today but I have to say that Kalle was really fast and I didn’t have the same pace as him on this final day. Of course, the Power Stage was still a target but we made a wrong decision with the tyre strategy and I had a lot of moments in the stage, so I was glad to cross the finish line and still bring some points to the team.”
Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal) stated:
“It has been a hard week for the rally community and the most important thing here was to have a safe rally and a good competition as Craig would have wanted. Personally, I feel that Elfyn and Scott were a great pairing to win this event in these circumstances. They were friends with Craig, and Scott was previously a co-driver of Craig and they reached their first podium together. It was not easy for them to come to this event but they did a fantastic job and they deserve the victory: I think that it means a lot to them to win again. It was also nice to have Kalle and Seb bringing some good points for the team after their problems on Friday.