A back injury sustained at Rally Estonia ruled the Welshman out of the last three WRC rounds, but he returns for his home event. After being given the all-clear, Evans drove a Fiesta R5 before getting into a World Rally Car in Wales last week.

“Driving the R5 car was great,” said the M-Sport Ford pilot. “I did a couple of half-days, it was just some sponsor work, not serious testing. As you can imagine, it was really good to be back in the car and driving.

“But driving the World Rally Car again in Wales was fantastic. We found a great piece of road with a good mix of slow and fast corners and we got some wet and dry conditions. It was a good test and we learned a lot.”

Evans feels no effects from the heavy landing in Estonia and is ready to push for a second British win in three years. “This is probably the longest I’ve been out of the car since I joined M-Sport,” said Evans.

“But the flip side of that is that it’s given me more time to work with the onboards and things like that ahead of the event. Normally, everything’s quite rushed getting ready for the next event, but I’ve had time before Wales.

“To be honest, I just want to get going now. This is always a special event for me with the extra support you get on your home round. It’s a highlight of the season to be competing in front of all those Welsh flags on some of the best stages in the world.”

Team principal Rich Millener is almost as excited as Evans.

“It’s fantastic to have Elfyn back with us. Teemu (team-mate Suninen] came into his own in Germany and Turkey, but there’s nothing quite like Elfyn’s experience, especially in Wales, and it’s a big boost for us all to have him here,” he said.

M-Sport Ford is chasing a Britain hat-trick after Sébastien Ogier backed up Evans’ 2017 win with his fifth victory 12 months ago.

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