Evans predicts “very open” WRC 2022 title fight without Ogier

The Toyota driver has finished runner-up on teammate Ogier’s last two seasons after getting to the heart of the championship fight in 2020 and 2021.

After Ogier retired from his full-time WRC career after winning an eighth world title, Evans was among the first to contend for the crown next year as the top category in rallying welcomed the new Rally1 hybrid regulations.

While Evans has come close to the title two years in a row, the Welshman believes there will be multiple contenders for the title next year despite Ogier’s absence.

Evans is also cautious that another variable that will determine next year’s championship outcome will be the paths the teams take in developing their new Rally1 cars.

“I think it’s still very open next year. Let’s say there are now a lot of fast drivers in the championship who are still very quick to beat and of course there are still a lot of unknowns in the hybrid regulations, ”Evans told Motorsport.com.

“It could be very difficult to come out with even the best car. We have to see what the next year brings.”

As a result of Ogier’s decision to reduce his WRC involvement, Evans will become the oldest and most experienced driver in Toyota’s full-time driver line-up next season, alongside Kalle Rovanpera and Takamoto Katsuta.

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: Toyota Racing

But according to Evans, that doesn’t mean he’ll take on a team leader role, as Toyota has an equal structure among its drivers.

“I may be the oldest and maybe the most experienced, but we also know that the structure at Toyota is very similar,” he added.

“There is no more weight behind one or the other driver and I think that’s the best way to go.

“We all get on very well. It’s also great that Seb is still involved and that we can ricochet off each other like we did this year. “

Evans’ preparations for the 2022 season didn’t go entirely smoothly after falling while testing the new GR Yaris in November.

However, Toyota remains reasonably confident that its new car will be ready after a recent test in France ahead of next season’s season opener in Monte Carlo January 20-23.

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