Evans relishing ‘fresh start’ in Formula E with Jaguar

© FIA Formula E

GAYDON, UK – Mitch Evans says he is relishing the opportunity to make a “fresh start” with Jaguar in Formula E after spending the past four years racing in GP2.

Evans, 22, was announced as one of Jaguar’s full-time race drivers for its maiden Formula E season as it prepares to return to top-line international motorsport after a 12-year absence.

Evans won the GP3 title back in 2012 before stepping up to GP2, where he has won five races and recorded a best finish of fourth place in the drivers’ standings in 2014.

The New Zealander has completed some sportscar racing over the past two seasons, as well as testing a Porsche LMP1 car last winter, hinting at a desire to move out of GP2.

At the launch of Jaguar’s first Formula E car, the I-Type, on Thursday, Evans said he felt ready to cut ties with GP2 and make the next step up in his career.

“I’m ready to depart GP2. It hasn’t gone overly well for me,” Evans told NBC Sports.

“This is a great way to have a fresh start and I’m really excited by the future of the championship.

“I’m delighted to be joining Formula E with Jaguar. It’s a bit of a dream for me. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and to be racing some of the top drivers in the world as well.

“It’s all come in a bit quick for me, a lot to soak up, but I’m excited for the season to start in Hong Kong.”

Evans confirmed that he would see out the GP2 season with Campos, the final two rounds scheduled in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi on weekends that do not clash with Formula E.

“I’ve got a contract with the team. It’s a bit of a sore subject,” Evans said.

“It’s just the way it works out sometimes. At least I can say I’m a GP3 champion, which is nice. I’ve won five GP2 races, so there’s a lot of things I can be proud of in GP2. Just obviously the championship hasn’t worked out.

“Now I’ve got a really exciting new chapter, but I will see out the GP2 championship. There are only two races left. Hopefully we can end that on a high going into Formula E.”

Evans is also open to dovetailing his Formula E commitments with a drive in another series, with a large number of the current grid also racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“I’d love it. I’d love to line another category up parallel to this,” Evans said.

“Obviously they don’t clash, most of the drivers do that anyway. I would love to do that. There are only a couple of championships that allow you to.

“We’ll see. At the moment this is my main priority. If I can find something else, that would be great, in the WEC or whatever it is.

“At the moment I’m focusing on this and soaking in the new opportunity, and then I’ll go from there.”

Evans will make his Formula E debut at the opening race of season three in Hong Kong on October 9.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.