Dale Budge is a sports writer for the NZ Herald.

Motorsport: Tour de force Evans turns focus to GT racing

Front row starters, Simon Evans and Nick Ross lead the rolling start for the second BNT New Zealand V8 Touring Car race. Photo / Colin Smith
Front row starters, Simon Evans and Nick Ross lead the rolling start for the second BNT New Zealand V8 Touring Car race. Photo / Colin Smith

Kiwi driver Simon Evans has dominated the New Zealand Touring Car Championship the past two seasons but will move to a different category at the end of this summer.

The 26-year-old holds an almost unassailable lead in the 2016-17 championship with one round remaining and will complete three straight titles (he won the final SuperTourer championship in 2014-15) at Hampton Downs in a fortnight.

But that will mark the end of his time in the series.

"This will probably be my last V8 round at Hampton Downs," said Evans. "We have another plan coming up. The weekend after is the New Zealand Endurance Championship. We are about to launch our new car for that. It will probably be the only one in New Zealand.

"We finished second last year but I'd like to win that."

Evans will today launch a new Audi he will drive in the New Zealand Endurance Championship and he is going to focus his immediate motorsport career on GT racing.

"If you look at the growth of the Australian GT Championship and even just GT racing worldwide and the factory teams getting involved it is impressive.

"I did the Bathurst 12-Hour event and that was an eye opener in terms of the factory teams and everyone was there - McLaren, Audi, BMW and Bentley."

He is also keen to try to break into Supercars as a co-driver or fulltime racer although a budget is often needed and that isn't really an option for Evans.

"I'd love to go and do the endurance events or even get into V8 Supercars in Australia. If an opportunity comes up there I would certainly take it."

In the meantime, Evans needs to finish only one of the three races at Hampton Downs to secure his NZ Touring Car title but he intends to go all-out for wins.

"I want to go out there and finish with a bang.

"We have a really healthy lead in the championship so I don't have to really go out there and conserve.

"I will go out there to try to win all three races."

- NZ Herald

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