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BRITISH driver Elfyn Evans has withdrawn from next month’s Neste Rally Finland to recover from the effects of a heavy landing in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta on Rally Estonia last weekend.

PHOTO: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

A team statement said its number one driver had received medical advice to not to contest Finland on 1-4 August. The rally is the fastest on the WRC calendar and presents conditions similar to Estonia, with many high-speed jumps.

Briton Gus Greensmith will take over Evans’ Fiesta, representing M-Sport alongside regular driver Teemu Suninen and WRC returnee Hayden Paddon of New Zealand, who secured a last-minute berth last week. After spending the past five seasons at Hyundai, Paddon will be the most experienced on M-Sport’s squad.

The team said Evans, currently sitting fourth in the championship standings, would focus on making a full and swift recovery to continue what had been a strong performance from him and co-driver Scott Martin so far this season.

“I’m absolutely gutted to be missing Rally Finland, but we suffered a pretty heavy landing in Estonia and have been advised to sit it out and focus on making a full and quick recovery,” Evans said.

“It’s a hard one to take right now, but I have to trust the advice of the experts and the team have all been really supportive. I’ll now focus on my recovery and getting back behind the wheel as soon as possible.”

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said: “It’s obviously a real shame for everyone not to see Elfyn and Scott in Finland, but when you’re medically advised not to contest an event that’s not something you can ignore.

“Finland is such a physically demanding rally and Elfyn’s fitness is our main concern. He has the full support of the team and is already focused on making a quick recovery.”

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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