VILLA CARLOS PAZ (Argentina) – Elfyn Evans and co-driver Dan Barritt are WRC’s Wheel Change Champs after beating rival crews in a fun preliminary to Xion Rally Argentina.
The M-Sport World Rally Team duo won the inaugural WRC TV Wheel Change Challenge in Villa Carlos Paz ahead of the start of the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Evans and Barritt were clear winners of the competition after 11 World Rally Car crews went up against the clock and each other in a race to see who could best handle the pressure of a timed wheel change on their rally cars.
Changing wheels is an integral part of WRC and often must be done by crews at the roadside mid-stage if their car gets a tyre puncture. Speed and efficiency are essential to minimise time lost.
On the Wheel Change Challenge, after unfastening their seat belts and jumping out of their cars, crews changed their rear left wheel. They replaced the jack and wheel in the rear of the car before sprinting to collect an Argentine flag which driver and co-driver held aloft.
Evans and Barritt completed the task on their Ford Fiesta RS in a blistering 46.00sec to defeat Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20) in 47.07sec, with Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R) in third in 47.13sec.
“It worked out really well, but let’s hope we don’t have to put it into more practice on the rally,” Evans said.
“We’ve spent quite a lot of time over the last few years trying to get the best system and it showed. It’s a great way to start the event but repeating this win on the rally might prove a bit more difficult.”