The Welshman won the toughest event on the calendar by 35.2 seconds, and set the third fastest time on the powerstage to collect three bonus points, to reclaim top spot in the drivers’ standings.
With just two rounds scheduled to run in 2020 – next month’s Rally Italia and November’s Rally Ypres – his advantage is 18 points. It was his second win of the campaign following his success on February’s Rally Sweden.
Asked how significant it was to be leading the WRC as it enters the business end of the season, Evans said: “It is better that way than the other way round – [but] I haven’t really given it too much thought. Who knows what will happen between now and the end of the season?
“We know that, ultimately, one retirement and it’s flipped on its head again. We have to keep our heads down for the next rallies.”
Evans’ bid to become the first British World Rally champion since the late Richard Burns back in 2001 was boosted when Tanak retired on Saturday morning’s first stage with steering failure, and Toyota team-mate Ogier had to park up his Yaris on Sunday’s infamous Cetibeli stage with engine problems.
Evans said he would have preferred to have taken his place on the top step in different circumstances.
“Of course, I’m very happy [but] I would say…