Evans picks up five-minute penalty in Mexico

Evans picks up five-minute penalty in Mexico
By AutoSport

09/03/2017 at 21:36Updated

Elfyn Evans will start Rally Mexico with a five-minute penalty following an engine change after shakedown for the World Rally Championship's third round.

The DMACK Ford Fiesta WRC suffered an engine fault after Evans had completed his three runs at the 3.29-mile Llano Grande, forcing M-Sport to change the engine.

The Welshman's time at the shakedown stage - which was seventh quickest - wasn't impacted, but the regulations stipulate any engine change once shakedown has begun comes with a five-minute penalty for the event.

"We don't know what caused the problem," said Evans, who wasn't driving the car when the problem was discovered.

"It just stopped and wouldn't start, there was no compression when they tried to fire it up again."

The penalty will be applied to Evans' time after the opening stage in Mexico City.

While it won't have any impact on his position on the road for Friday's first full day of action, it will almost certainly leave him first on the road on Saturday.

"It's a real disappointment," Evans continued. "We came here looking to challenge for a top-five result and any hope of that has gone.

"Maybe we have to have a change of strategy now and look to set some times on Friday - that's going to be our best hope, while we still have a good place on the road."

The engine was changed between 2000 and 2200 on Wednesday night, with the car needing to be on the transporter south to Mexico City shortly before 2300.