Motorsport: Evans on charge with Jag

By Eric Thompson

Jaguar teammates Adam Carroll (front) and Kiwi Mitch Evans are beginning to make up ground in the Formula E series. Photo / Getty
Jaguar teammates Adam Carroll (front) and Kiwi Mitch Evans are beginning to make up ground in the Formula E series. Photo / Getty

Formula E racer New Zealander Mitch Evans has arrived in Monaco this weekend for round five of the championship, still on a bit of a high after Mexico. The Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver scored the team's maiden points after a gutsy fourth place finish.

It's been a bit of a hard journey so far in the series for everyone involved in the team as they try to piece together all the disparate parts that go into make a winning outfit. To just miss out on a podium so early in what can only be described as a development season bodes well for the rest of the series.

On a personal note for Evans, for once he was able to take advantage of the misfortune of others, rather than being caught up in something not of his making, which has been the norm in the past.

"It was a massive result for the whole team, that's for sure," Evans told the Weekend Herald on his way to Monaco. "We've been making progress since the first race but it's been a steep learning curve, and one that I didn't really know just how steep it was.

"We've just kept on trying, and to get double points with Adam [Carroll, teammate who finished eighth worth four points] was huge. The goal this year was to try and get some points, so it's a good start. It's given us all confidence and now it's time to move onto the next goal [podium].

"Just missing out on a podium was a pain, but also missing all the carnage was a bonus and getting points early on shows we are making progress. Now we have to work on being consistently in the points and we are fully aware not to get too far ahead of ourselves."

The Jaguar team has a lot of kudos and respect in the paddock as the other teams have been ironing out the kinks for a season or two already. The new kids on the block are a little on the back foot, but are making progress every time the car is wheeled out.

The shortened Monaco ePrix circuit should suit Evans as he's been to the longer Formula One track a number of times in his GP3 and GP2 days.

The layout this weekend takes a hard right at Ste Devote, rather than carrying on up the hill to Monte Carlo. From there the track loops back down behind the pits and rejoins the GP layout at the chicane at the exit of the tunnel.

The remainder of the circuit follows the traditional route around the Swimming Pool, through Rascasse and Antony Noghes and back to the start/finish.

"It's not the full Grand Prix circuit, which is a shame, and obviously I haven't driven this particular layout. The good thing though, is I have been to Monaco a lot in the past and have had some good results there.

"With the track being shorter, the field is going to be super close and when the series was here two years ago the racing was very close.

"It'll be a tough weekend in terms of trying to put it all together so we'll just have to see how we go. There's not going to be much room for error and managing the energy is getting harder and harder as the FIA keeps making the races longer and longer," said Evans.

Monaco is slightly different to most race weekends as everything happens over just one day.

"It makes it a bit tricky to make sure nothing untoward happens, and especially so for the drivers who must keep the cars off the walls.

Managing the electric charge during the race is akin to that of other open wheel categories and them having to save fuel. However, in Formula E's case, the FIA is constantly making the races longer and longer which means previous data is not of much use.

"It makes it a lot more challenging for us trying to make sure we don't use up the charge too soon and then have to slow down to make it to the finish. It's going to be tough at Monaco as it's super hard to have a smooth day, all day.

"You get different conditions during the day and you can be quite happy in one session and then the temperature changes and then the car's balance goes out the window," said Evans.

Because of the rules, teams are only allowed to develop the software and can't touch the hardware (the car itself). It's a homologated vehicle so teams have to be more efficient in how they use the energy.

- NZ Herald

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