Motorsport: Rain, rain, stay away... Kiwi front-runner's wish

By Eric Thompson

Mitch Evans has won three of the GP3 series races, but it hasn't been easy. Photo / Supplied.
Mitch Evans has won three of the GP3 series races, but it hasn't been easy. Photo / Supplied.

Aucklander Mitch Evans pulls on his race suit again this weekend for round six of the eight-round GP3 championship.

It is being raced at the Hungaroring, Hungary, before the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix.

The Kiwi racer has barely had time to take a breath after an up-and-down outing last weekend at the German Grand Prix. Evans extended his lead in the series to 18 points over his nearest rival Aario Vainio after finishing race two on top of the podium.

The championship is developing into a two horse race between Evans and the Finn, who is 27 points ahead of third-placed Daniel Abt.

But it hasn't been a smooth ride for Evans, who is generally regarded as one of the fastest in the pack, as he's been dogged by the weather and having to make tyre choices that haven't always gone according to plan.

Last time out, at Hockenheim, it was again wet for race one and Evans' MW Arden team had to haul him into the pits to change tyres, after which he was thwarted by a safety car resulting in an eighth place finish.

Race two was a better affair with Evans starting on pole and amid the chaos of two crashes he crossed the line to pick up his third win of the season.

"It wasn't too bad a weekend, and overall I'm not disappointed," said Evans as he prepared for the Hungarian round of his championship.

"We can be satisfied and happy with extending the lead in the championship. It doesn't mean it wasn't a tough weekend as we had a lot of stuff thrown at us. A lot of challenges but we overcame them and came away with a win, which is always handy."

Unlike the German Hockenheim track, the Hungaroring is familiar territory for Evans as he raced there last year, so this weekend should be a little easier for him.

"I'm really looking forward to going back there, and it should be a good weekend. We were pretty strong there last year and hopefully we can improve this weekend.

"Hopefully we can head into the four-week break after these races with some good results and a bigger points lead in the championship."

Bad weather - mainly rain - has dogged most rounds of the GP3 series this season and Evans' team has struggled to nail the right tyre choice at the start of the race.

The 18-year-old will be hoping for a dry weekend so he can concentrate on racing rather than what tyres to fit.

"The rain, yeah, far out. I'm getting sick of that for sure. But it's all part of racing and it's the same for everyone. The forecast, believe it or not, is for some rain during practice and the odd bit over the weekend.

"It's going to be warm though, so I'm looking forward to that for sure."

There have been seven different winners from the 10 races at Barcelona, Monaco, Valencia, Silverstone and Hockenheim.

Evans is the only driver to win three.

Both Hungarian GP3 races will be screened on Sky Sport.

Qualifying is a straight fight for fastest lap time, and determines the order of the grid for race one and is worth an extra four points.

Race two is a reverse top eight affair.

There are no mandatory pit stops and refuelling is not permitted at any time in the pit lane or on the grid.

The top 10 drivers score points in race one (25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1) plus two points for the driver who sets the fastest lap of the race.

In race two the top eight finishers score points (15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1) and the driver with the fastest lap scores two points.

GP3 series points

Mitch Evans 121

Aaro Vainio 103

Daniel Abt 76

Patric Niederhauser 75

Connor Daly 75

Matias Laine 60

Antonio Felix da Costa 58

Kevin Ceccon 58

- NZ Herald

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