Wales Rally GB has reported record-breaking crowds were in attendence this weekend, to see local hero Elfyn Evans become the first British driver to win on home soil in the FIA World Rally Championship since 2000.
More than 100,000 spectators lined the classic Wales Rally GB forest stages, for the first running of the new generation of World Rally Cars. Overcoming not only the threat posed by his rivals but also characteristically challenging weather conditions including dense fog on Saturday evening, the Dolgellau driver made the most of the DMACK tyres on his M-Sport run Ford Fiesta WRC. Expertly navigated by Lancashire-based co-driver Daniel Barritt, he sprinted clear of his pursuers and ultimately reached the finish line at the end of Sunday’s Brenig Power Stage some 37.3 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.
In so doing, Evans joined British rallying legends Roger Clark, Colin McRae and Richard Burns as only the fourth homegrown driver ever to triumph on the event, and the 28-year-old is the first Welsh driver to win any WRC rally.
“What a weekend!” enthused Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Managing Director, Ben Taylor. “We’ve had an amazing few days which have delivered everything we could possibly have asked for. Huge crowds, fabulous weather, close competition and the best possible result.
“I think half of Wales was on the stages today to see Elfyn win his first WRC event and to lift that famous trophy on home soil must be very special. Congratulations to Malcolm Wilson and everyone at M-Sport, Sébastien and Julien [Ingrassia], and of course Elfyn and Dan – it’s been an amazing weekend.
“I also need to thank everyone that has put in such a lot of hard work to make it all possible. We have a magnificent army of more than 2,000 volunteers and marshals who give up something like 5,000 days this week alone to put the stages together and to keep the fans and the crews safe. Once again they’ve done a tremendous job and should all be very proud of what the UK has delivered for the WRC.”