Evans happy with his points return in Monaco

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 26/05/2014
Mitch Evans
Getty Images
MAKING PROGRESS: Mitch Evans had a solid weekend in Austria but couldn't crack a podium spot.

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Mitch Evans feels he has some much-needed momentum in his GP2 campaign after a productive weekend in Monaco that brought a double dollop of points.

An impressive second in the feature race was followed by a steady sixth yesterday. 

The net return from the tight streets of Monte Carlo was 22 invaluable points that lifted the 19-year-old Kiwi from 16th to ninth in the driver's championship.

With 16 races left, he has plenty of opportunities to push on.

Evans felt there was some pleasing consistency in his car at this glamour event after a frustrating opening two rounds where glimpses of sheer speed brought little reward.

Getting on the podium in Monaco on Grand Prix weekend in the principality wasn't new to Evans.

He placed third there in both races last year.

But his second-placing this weekend was at another level, surviving a fiery race that produced two safety cars and a red flag suspension of more than 40 minutes that tested tyre strategy over the subsequent 28 laps.

Finishing less than a second behind series leader Jolyon Palmer (Britain) was good reward for qualifying where he made the most of his second place on the grid.

Yesterday's sprint race was a more sedate affair and with the reverse grid in operation for the top eight, Evans could do little from his starting spot of seventh on the tightest track of the series.

''I couldn't do much in this one. It was a 'follow the leader' race,'' said Evans.

''After a good result on Friday, I was happy to take another three points and call it a weekend.''

With no mandatory pit stop, everyone started on soft tyres and it was a matter of hanging on towards the end as local driver Stephane Richelmi led from start to finish.

Evans reckoned he got an even better launch than he did in the feature race - ''but I couldn't use it.''

The gap between the two cars ahead of him narrowed and Evans was forced to swing from the right to the left as the pack funnelled into the narrow opening corner.

The aggressive Evans was tempted by a couple of opportunities late in the race, ''but it was just too risky. I was just trying to manage the front tyre wear. I was happy to score points and get another finish at Monaco".

The fourth round of the 11-round GP2 Series is at the Austrian Grand Prix on June 20-22.

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