Mitch Evans is a young man in a hurry. And as Stuff reports, the world of single seater motor racing is at his feet, money permitting:
New Zealand motorsport has a new international star after Mitch Evans won the GP3 Series at the famous Monza track in Italy last night.The title came down to the final race, after Evans crashed out of the first race of the last meeting yesterday morning (NZT), reducing series lead to 14.5 points.It was a two-man battle with Germany's Daniel Abt the only other driver in contention for the crown and needing to win the race to deny the 18-year-old Aucklander the title.Evans was also disadvantaged by the reverse grid system used for the second races of the meetings, starting in 25th position, compared to Abt's eighth.But in a dramatic finish Abt could only manage second and that was enough to hand the title to Evans.Evans had fought his way up to eighth and into the points when he suffered a flat tyre and slipped back to 20th.But he had Tio Ellinas to thank as the Cyprus driver passed Abt on the second-to-last lap to give Evans - the season's most consistent driver - the title.Evans said he experienced a roller-coaster of emotions as the race unfolded and his destiny got taken out of his hands.“It was touch and go after that puncture,” he said.“I was literally screaming into my helmet ‘go Tio’ because I could see what was happening up at the front on the big screens all around the circuit. I knew exactly what was happening.”Evans said he thought his title had gone with the puncture that came when he was pushing so hard to get into the points.“I’d got up to seventh when (Aaro) Vainio touched my right rear. I had fastest lap but on the straight I could feel the tyre going.“Into turn one I had to cut the chicane because the brakes wouldn’t work because of the puncture.“I thought it was all over – I was not a happy boy when I was in the pits. But never say die.”
This is a terrific result for Mitch Evans. He has been the form driver in the very competitive GP3 Series all season, and his success and consistency will not have gone unnoticed. But climbing the ladder towards motorsport's Holy Grail is an expensive business; read on:
Evans and his management now face some big decisions. His driver's title win is worth $400,000 from tyre manufacturer Pirelli – but only if he decides to graduate to the GP2 Series next year.
Mitch Evans has received huge support from Sir Colin Giltrap and Sir Peter Leitch. But he will need even more if his pursuit of a dream is to continue:
The most likely step from here will be a move up to the GP2 Series or the World Series Renault - the next levels of single-seater racing below F1.That will require a cash injection with Evans suggesting the costs of campaigning in GP2 were "two thirds more than GP3".That totals around NZ$2m and, like most stepping stones in this hugely expensive sport, drivers have to pay a huge chunk of money for their seats.His winning bonus will certainly help and Evans has wealthy New Zealand backers including Sir Colin Giltrap, who was at Monza, and Sir Peter Leitch, along with Kiwi companies Gen-I and Mako.
We applaud those who have fronted up and backed this talented teenager, and we hope that Mitch Evans can take the next step towards his ultimate goal. In the meantime we congratulate him heartily on having bettered more than 30 of the world's up-and-coming race drivers.