Evans explains why his Argentina lead tumbled

Evans explains why his Argentina lead tumbled
By AutoSport

30/04/2017 at 06:29Updated

Elfyn Evans said multiple problems sapped his confidence on Saturday and led to his Rally Argentina lead being slashed, but he will give everything for victory on Sunday.

The DMACK Ford driver's one-minute lead was whittled away to 11 seconds by Hyundai's Thierry Neuville during leg two.

Having enjoyed the perfect day as his built his lead on Friday, Evans admitted he caused some of his own Saturday problems.

"When we got the puncture on the last stage [of the morning], that was the start of the time loss," he told Autosport.

"That was my mistake and that was when Thierry got a bit of a sniff.

"In the afternoon we lost the rear diffuser, which took away some of the stability in the high-speed sections.

"In all honesty, that's not such an issue on its own, but we had a small brake problem and there was something with the rear of the car as well.

"When you combine these small issues, the result is a car which you're maybe not 100% confident to push in."

Evans felt the second-gear spin on Saturday's final stage was probably caused by what felt like a problem with the left-rear damper.

"The car felt quite soft and wallowy," he said, "but that could have been related to the positioning of the extra spare wheel we took.

"It just took away some of the confidence."

Evans and DMACK have yet to win in the World Rally Championship.

The tyre firm came close with Ott Tanak in Poland last year before a late mistake dropped the Estonian to second, while Evans's previous best WRC performance was in Corsica in 2015 - when he led but was ultimately defeated by Jari-Matti Latvala's Volkswagen.

Evans lost his seat in M-Sport's main WRC team at the end of that season and spent last year in WRC2 and the revived British Rally Championship, which he won, before earning his 2017 chance with DMACK.

"Nobody's going to gift us a win," said Evans of his plan for Sunday's three stages.

"We're going to have to work for it and that's what we're going to do.

"There's only one approach."

Malcolm Wilson, whose M-Sport operation runs the DMACK Ford entry, said he had told Evans to go flat-out for the win.

"I've told him to absolutely go for it and hold nothing back," Wilson said

"There's no question that this is his chance, this is his moment."

But Neuville was also in a confident mood having closed the gap.

"If we continue driving like we did today then there's no reason why we can't catch Elfyn," he said on Saturday evening.

"But for sure we have to keep an eye behind. For him nothing is lost.

"It will be a tough and a rough day tomorrow, nothing is decided."