Career best finish for Mitch Evans

Author
Dale Budge, NZ Herald,
Section
Motorsport,
Publish Date
Monday, 4 December 2017, 2:59PM
Mitch Evans competes in the Formula E Non-Qualifying Practice 2 in Hong Kong. (Photo / Getty Images)
Mitch Evans competes in the Formula E Non-Qualifying Practice 2 in Hong Kong. (Photo / Getty Images)

New Zealander Mitch Evans enjoyed his best ever finish in Sunday's Formula E race at Hong Kong when he claimed his Panasonic Jaguar Racing's maiden podium.

He crossed the line fourth but was later promoted to third after race winner Daniel Abt was disqualified in his Audi.

"I am proud to secure Panasonic Jaguar Racing's first podium in Formula E," Evans said. "It is bittersweet as Daniel (Abt) is a good guy and a mate of mine. After a tough year in our first season this is a great reward for the hard work of everyone in the team. Tonight we will celebrate this achievement together and then work hard to repeat it."

The factory driver demonstrated a much improved one-lap pace in his car this year – the second in the all-electric series – but struggled to make much of an impact as he needed to conserve energy in race mode.

Having started from fourth the 23-year-old jumped to third on the first lap when pole-sitter Felix Rosenquist spun at the first corner.

He made his pit stop in third but dropped five seconds in the lane, which saw him come out onto the track behind the Mahindra of Rosenquist.

Evans then spent the second half of the race trying to fend off Brit Alex Lynn in the DS Virgin Racing car but managed to do so.

"I did all we could," he said. "We were strong in qualifying but we still have some work to do in race distance.

"I just couldn't keep up with the guys in front.

"Unfortunately that was the best I could do today."

It marks a big turn-around in form for Jaguar after a disappointing debut season in 2016-17.

"I am happy with the result and happy to get the points for the team," Evans added. "We are looking good, we have some work to do but the season looks positive.

"The guys have worked so hard in the factory to produce the new power train.

"I am very proud to be part of the team but also happy to reward them with some points. Hopefully it is the start of a good season."

German Abt took the chequered flag in his Audi after Swiss Eduoardo Mortara spun in his Venturi entry with a couple of laps remaining from the lead of the race and gifted the win to his rival.

Rosenquist was promoted from second to first while Mortara moved up to second after Abt's disqualification.

Earlier in the day Evans set the fastest time in qualifying and secured the team's first ever front row start but was given a penalty for having exceeded the maximum energy on his super pole lap. He started the race fourth as a result.

Round two of the series takes place in Marrakesh, Morocco in mid-January.

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