Toyota Gazoo Racing’s new signing Elfyn Evans leads the way heading into the final day of Rallye Monte Carlo, the opening event of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship.

Evans who joined the Finnish team over the off season heads into the final day with a 4.9s lead over his team mate Sebastien Ogier.

Speaking following the action he said:

Overall it’s been a solid day and it feels good to be leading. I’m pretty happy with the weekend up to this point: the car has been giving me great confidence and the team has been working very well together. It was a very difficult afternoon loop, as we opted for the slick tyres like our rivals but there were still some icy sections out there. I was a bit too careful in the first stage of the loop, and then a bit too optimistic at the end of the last one on the final icy corner and we went off, but luckily we didn’t hit anything. There’s a big fight on for tomorrow and we need to keep focused and not think about it too much.”

Sebastien Ogier commented on his day saying:

It’s been a consistent day. The only regret we can have is being too cautious in the last stage on the tricky section on the ice. But I always prefer to be too cautious than in the ditch. This is always my strategy on this event and obviously it has paid off quite a few times. Taking risks can work, but not always. At the end of the day I’m not unhappy with today: It’s still very close and all is possible tomorrow. It’s a nice fight and now the plan is to be strong tomorrow and there is still a good chance to win this rally. We’ve had to push hard on these same stages in the last few years already, which is good experience to have.”

Kalle Rovanpera had a great day as he ended the action in sixth place overall and speaking following the session he said:

“I’m not quite so happy with today, but it’s still OK: We’re doing exactly what we should do and driving without any mistakes. It was quite tricky conditions through the whole day, and we took it quite safe because we’re not fighting for any positions. I’m still learning how to use the car in the best way in all the different conditions. When you know these things, you can be faster. We have been going without taking any risks, so the times are quite OK when the road is clean.

Team principal Tommi Makinen said:

It’s a very exciting fight for the victory with two of our new drivers in first and second. Elfyn’s performance on the second stage this morning was especially incredible. The conditions were not easy but he had great confidence. Both guys took it a bit more steady in the afternoon on slick tyres but we still have the advantage. Kalle is doing very well too, gaining as much experience as possible. Tomorrow will be a big day and I’m sure it will be a very interesting one to follow.”

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