Monte Carlo: Day 1 Quotes From M-Sport

Elfyn Evans (6th) said:

“I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t expect to be sitting in sixth place at the end of Day 1, or to have been just 0.5 seconds off a fastest stage time. If someone had told me that before the event, I would have certainly taken it!

“The tyre choice that we made with the team this morning was essential to where we are now. We had a steady run this afternoon – just to gain as much experience as possible – and we’ve found ourselves in a reasonably strong position over night. Now, we just need to be sensible and keep it together for the remainder of the event.”

Mikko Hirvonen (8th) said:

“We felt a bit more comfortable this afternoon, but we didn’t do so much testing in these sorts of conditions so it is really difficult to find the confidence. But it’s getting better and that is a very good thing. 

“Obviously there is still a long way to go, but let’s see what we can do. I hope that we can continue to show the pace that we had in the last stage and try to catch the boys in front. The gaps are pretty big now, but this is Monte-Carlo and we’ve already seen what can happen!”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“Mikko [Hirvonen] has had a difficult first day back in the Fiesta, but it all started to come together on the last stage – quickest of all the Fiesta drivers. He’s certainly in a position to make up places and as we all know, anything can happen.

“As for Elfyn [Evans], it’s been a great first day. He‘s been very sensible and done exactly what he needed to do. He made a really good tyre choice this morning, but more than anything, I have been really impressed by the way he has kept his head in what is probably one of the most difficult ‘Montes’ for the past few years.

“This is such a prestigious rally, and it is great to see that there are five M-Sport designed and manufactured Fiestas in the overall top-ten!”

Bryan Bouffier (1st) said:

“It is fantastic for me to be here – competing with the world’s best and in a really good position at the end of the first day. The conditions have been really difficult, so to come out on top – here at Monte-Carlo – it’s a very good feeling. Although I have to say that I am lucky to be here! On the first corner of the first stage we hit a bridge and I thought that our race was over. Thankfully, the Fiesta is very strong, so thanks to her!

“Of course this will not be an easy position to hold on to as we know that anything can happen. We need to keep concentrated and be aware of the conditions. We’ll just try to keep the same pace, and see what happens tomorrow.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“Bryan [Bouffier] has done a great job today and we are obviously very happy to see one of our privateer drivers leading the rally. He has used all of his past ‘Monte’ experience to great effect – a really mature drive with some excellent tyre selections. It will be difficult to hold onto the lead, but anything can happen and he is in a fantastic position going forward.”

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