Multi-tasking Melvyn Evans returns in a Fabia R5

Multi-tasking Melvyn Evans returns in a Fabia R5

20 Aug

By Paul Evans

To some, Melvyn Evans is one of the UK’s top rally drivers, renowned for winning events in high-powered World Rally Cars. To others, he’s a top team manager – his Melvyn Evans Motorsport operation is currently in a close fight for the British Rally Championship’s Teams’ title with M-Sport. And for others, he’s the local garage owner that will do your car’s MOT and offer you a nice cup of tea while you wait.
But on Sunday 29 August he’ll be back in his race suit and helmet and aiming for victory on The Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally – the opening round of the 2021 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship – which he’ll contest in a Škoda Fabia R5.
Melvyn has a great track record on Epynt – he won the Mewla Rally in 2003 and more recently won the Tour of Epynt in 2018.
That last victory was at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRC S12b, but since then Melvyn has, with great success, focused on developing R5 cars. His family-run West Wales rally squad has built up a fleet of Volkswagen Polo GTI R5s, including the ones he runs for Osian Pryce and Matt Edwards in the BRC and for his son Meirion Evans on asphalt events at home and abroad.
Melvyn last drove the Fabia R5 on this year’s Argyll Stages, where he was challenging for victory before receiving a one minute time penalty for clipping a chicane with the back of the car. Meirion went on to win the Scottish closed road event in a Polo GTI R5.
Melvyn has registered for the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship and entered the first two rounds, The Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally (Sunday 29 August) and the Hills Ford Three Shires Stages Rally (Sunday 5 September).
“We’ve been doing a lot of development work on R5 cars, and with some ratio changes it will be interesting to see how the Fabia R5 goes against World Rally Cars on Epynt,” says Melvyn.
“I’ve had the Škoda for three years and it’s getting more and more competitive against the older World Rally Cars, which are getting a bit outdated now. We were second on the Argyll Rally when we got a time penalty, so that shows how quick the R5 cars are.
“I had thought about driving one of the Polo GTIs on the Mewla, but the Škoda fits like a glove and it will be nice to get back out behind the wheel.
“We’ll definitely do the first two rounds of the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship and see how it goes after that. It’s a good calendar of events and I’d certainly like to do more. It all depends on our other team commitments.”
Melvyn will be co-driven by Mark Glennerster.

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