Motorsport: Hockenheim a mystery to Evans but he's not bothered

By Eric Thompson

Kiwi Mitch Evans leads the GP3 series as it heads to Hockenheim this weekend. Photo / supplied
Kiwi Mitch Evans leads the GP3 series as it heads to Hockenheim this weekend. Photo / supplied

At the halfway point of the 2012 GP3 championship, Aucklander Mitch Evans holds an 11-point advantage over Aario Vainio heading to Hockenheim as a support class for the German Formula One Grand Prix this weekend.

Last time out at Silverstone, England, Evans had an up-and-down weekend, finishing second in race one and 11th in race two.

He's also been in a titanic series-long battle with Vaino, who allowed Evans to extend his lead in the championship by rear-ending Evans' teammate Matias Laine.

If Evans plays his cards right he can further extend the gap on his nearest rival Vaino as the Finn has been slapped with a 10-place grid penalty for race one as a result of his accident.

Evans' form this season as part of Red Bull Formula One Mark Webber's MW Arden team has been very good so far this season, having accumulated two feature race wins and two pole positions.

"I've never actually raced at Hockenheim before because from year to year with the German races they alternate between here [Hockenheim] and the Nurburgring," said Evans.

This should not be a concern for Evans or his fans as the Kiwi has built a reputation for turning up at tracks he's not been to before, quickly setting some of the fastest times in practice and going on to win races.

"It's going to be a bit of a challenge, that's for sure, as everyone else has been to the circuit before. Every circuit is hard in its own way but Hockenheim is not one of the more difficult tracks to learn," he said.

"There are parts of it that are pretty straightforward and it's only the last sector that's quite challenging. I've been preparing for it quite hard so hopefully the hard work will pay off.

"Turning up to a circuit I don't know and doing well is one of my strengths. Last year, I hadn't been to hardly any of the tracks and managed to do quite well. I'm not worried about not being here before."

The championship has turned into a two-horse race between Evans and Vainio, who is 30-odd points clear of third place driver Antonio Felix da Costa.

Although these two have a healthy buffer over the Portuguese driver, he shouldn't be counted out of the championship with eight races to go. Da Costa held off a determined Evans in race one at Silverstone to win.

"I'm probably not going to go out there, bang the car on pole and win race one but I'll be giving it my best shot like I do every weekend and I hope to get as many points as I can.

"The car's great and we'll learn from the tactical mistakes we made at Silverstone," said Evans.

Qualifying is a straight fight for fastest lap time, and determines the order of the grid for race one.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 02 Sep 2014 00:32:31 Processing Time: 534ms