Poor Elfyn Evans didn’t have the best time at Rally de Portugal. First, his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC experienced throttle problems which plagued him all throughout Day 1. Then his car just gave up the ghost on SS8, and guess what? That ghost was a fire spirit.

Ford debuted their new Fiesta RS WRC at Rally de Portugal, which was described as “the biggest evolution since its creation” in Ford’s press release. It’s expected that great leaps in technology usually come a few bugs to work out, but Evans’ issues were more like rally problems that could happen to anyone at any time.

Surprisingly, Evans’ first issue was with an older part. Evans told Crash.net after Day 1:

It was all going to plan but unfortunately we had an issue with the throttle towards the end of SS2 – with the fly-by-wire. The engineers talked us through various tests to get the car going and eventually we did manage to fix it but it took too long and we ran out of time.

The really unfortunate thing is that it wasn’t a new part. It’s something that’s very much tried and tested but it’s just one of those things. It was a relatively easy fix for the technicians and we’ll be back under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow.

It was his issue on the second day that was the biggest slow-down of them all, though. Evans hit a bank during SS8, damaging his front right suspension and splitting an oil pipe and causing an engine fire.

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From the outside looking in, the car just looks like it gave up after dragging its right front wheel for a little while. “You keep revving me like you expect to go somewhere, Mr. Evans. But no! Put a fork in me, I’m toast.”

Literally.

Toast.

“I had no idea the car was on fire until long after we stopped,” Evans told Crash.net. “My initial reaction was to try and fix the car so I jumped out and went straight to the boot. Then Dan shouted that it was on fire and there was a fairly rapid change of action”

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The error didn’t keep him down for long, though. Evans rejoined the rally to drive to the end on Day 3.


Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.