ELFYN Evans is hoping to make the most of the opportunity at the upcoming Rally Italia Sardegna after his disappointment in Portugal last time out.

A series of unfortunate events saw the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team driver finish sixth at Rally de Portugal.

A puncture and a lost set of pacenotes on Friday only compounded issues around the set-up of his Yaris Rally1.

The 35-year-old Dolgellau driver: “For us, Portugal was a difficult weekend, but it’s still quite early in the season and we just have to aim for some stronger rallies ahead.

Every rally is important and we need to try and make the most of the opportunity in Sardinia.

“We definitely made some progress with the feeling in the car in Portugal and we’re working with the team to try and come up with some further improvements for Sardinia, even though it’s difficult with the limited testing we have.

“It’s quite a similar rally to Portugal in some ways and maybe trickier in others, but I’m sure we can turn things around and make it a better weekend.”

After victories in the last three events in Kenya, Croatia and Portugal, TGR-WRT will once more target a strong result on the Italian island of Sardinia as it looks to fight back in the championship – with just four points separating it from Hyundai in the manufacturers’ standings.

Sébastien Ogier will contend for a third win from as many rounds in Sardinia, where he has triumphed four times previously – most recently with TGR-WRT in 2021.

He’s joined in the line-up by Elfyn Evans, who finished second to his team-mate on that occasion, and Takamoto Katsuta, who has placed as high as fourth on the event previously.

Twenty years since Sardinia first hosted Italy’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, it will debut a new more condensed format that will pack the competitive action – totalling 266.12 kilometres – into just 48 hours.

While the event might be more compact, it should remain just as demanding: the fast but narrow and technical stages leave little margin for error, while the sandy surface is swept away by each passing car to expose a rocky and abrasive base.

This can combine with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees centigrade to punish cars and tyres.

The service park switches back from Olbia to the historic city of Alghero on the island’s northwest coast and, after shakedown takes place on Friday morning at the nea

by Ittiri rallycross circuit, the rally starts in the afternoon with two stages to be driven twice on the northern coast. Saturday heads further east and features over half of the competitive distance, with 149 km to be driven without mid-day service.

Two stages will be run twice in the morning, before a tyre-fitting zone and another two stages are tackled twice in the afternoon.

On Sunday there’s a return to two repeated stages along the northwest coast.