Motorsport: Evans keen to back up Spanish flier

By Eric Thompson

Mitch Evans will be at home as he tries to increase his GP3 lead.
Mitch Evans will be at home as he tries to increase his GP3 lead.

Kiwi leader is aiming for more points rather than a big win.

New Zealand GP3 driver Mitch Evans hits his home-away-from-home track this weekend at Silverstone, England, for round four of the eight-round GP3 championship.

The Kiwi had a good innings last time out in the support event for the European Formula One Grand Prix at Valencia, Spain and is looking to extend his slender four-point lead in the series.

Evans, who celebrated his 18th birthday in style by winning race one in Spain, grabbed a fistful of points by getting pole and coming home first in the feature race.

He played a cunning game in race two, which was a reverse top eight grid, to stay out of trouble and finish sixth to amass 35 points for the weekend.

A solid weekend's racing enabled Evans to leapfrog Aaro Vainio, who gained only 20 points, into first place in the championship.

Evans now has 78 points, Vainio 74 and Daniel Abt is third on 42.

Heading into the halfway stage of the series there's more good news for Evans' MW Arden team, as they also have a slender lead over Lotus GP in the teams' championship.

"With a reverse grid top eight it's virtually impossible to win," said Evans. "It might be possible but it'd be very hard especially in dry conditions.

"It's pretty hard to win two races in a weekend and the best plan is to maximise [points] on Saturday and then try and pick up as much as you can on Sunday."

Evans has more than a few laps under his belt around the Northamptonshire circuit and likes being able to stay at his UK home during the race weekend.

"It's all good this week as I get to stay in my own place and I'm looking forward to the event. You get a really big crowd even for our races in the morning ...

"It's a really cool event and I really like racing here. Hopefully we can pick up some more points, as I was pretty quick here in testing.

"We can't get too complacent. We've got to put our best foot forward and make sure we stay in front of the other guys."

With motorsport, and a lot of other sporting disciplines that involve mechanical things, it doesn't matter how hard you and the team prepare, if the mechanical gremlins strike, any manner of things can happen.

Last year at Silverstone, Evans looked set for a great weekend until his car's computer failed.

"Nothing is guaranteed and all we can do is put our best foot forward and hopefully come away with a good result," he said.

"The ultimate plan will be to do as we did in Valencia. That was almost the perfect weekend. By improving from eighth to sixth I got a few more points, so that was the best scenario for the situation."

The best laid plans of mice and men should be left at home when racing in England. The weather is more changeable than just about anywhere else cars race, and summer there has been one of the worst in decades.

"I really like the circuit and, like a lot of others say it's a driver's track," said Evans. "It's fast, it's got history and it's a challenge. Tyres will be an issue as the surface is very abrasive and it's a hard place to be to be quick on but I love racing here.

"The car is working really well this season but we haven't had any wet conditions so far this year. If it's wet this weekend we'll just have to make the most of everything and still try to be the fastest."

- NZ Herald

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