Kiwi hot prospect Mitches it up with GP2's best

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 24/03/2013

Relevant offers

Motorsport

Big day for Ellesmere Speedway hampered by 'bizarre' crash Hayden Paddon on 'maximum attack' to get WRC season back on track at Rally Argentina The New Zealand Grand Prix is staying at Manfeild Scott Dixon finishes second in IndyCars race at Alabama Boy, 11, dies in karting accident at F1 driver Fernando Alonso's track Mostert claims Phillip Island V8 win as Kiwis encounter mistakes and misfortune Scott Dixon qualifies fourth for IndyCars Alabama race Fabian Coulthard wins chaotic Supercars race at Phillip Island Fundraising page for young British race-car driver Billy Monger raises more than $1 million in 24 hours 'It will never go from my memory': Edwards family prepare for emotion of memorial speedway event for son killed on track

Kiwi motor-racing ace Mitch Evans expressed satisfaction with his difficult GP2 debut after he finished 10th in the season-opener in Malaysia yesterday.

The 18-year-old Aucklander is stepping up a division after winning the GP3 title last year and has made an instant impact.

He set his initial goal to get among the points and his placing achieved that, with the top 10 drivers sharing the spoils.

Evans had problems in the buildup to the race, battling food poisoning, which certainly wouldn't have helped him in the hot conditions in the one-hour, 31-lap race at the 5.543km Sepang circuit, which is hosting the Malaysian Grand Prix.

And he had difficulties with his car as well, though he cast those aside last night as he reflected on his first drive in such impressive company.

"I struggled a bit with the car balance all race, so I dropped back a bit. But I'm satisfied to be in the points on my debut," Evans said.

He had stunned the field at qualifying on Friday by claiming fifth fastest time - the best of the rookies.

And he made a strong start to yesterday's race, getting up to third at one stage before slowly falling back.

After 14 laps he had slipped to 11th. But he battled hard, determined to stay with the top 10 and get among the points.

He also had the satisfaction of finishing ahead of his Arden International team-mate Johnny Cecotto, who crossed the line in 12th place.

There were 26 starters in the race with 21 of them finishing.

Switzerland's Fabio Leimer won the race in a tight battle with James Calado and Stefano Coletti, who had started from pole. Evans finished 73.730s behind Leimer. His eighth lap was his best at 1:49.363.

Sam Bird produced the fastest lap of 1:48.777 as he battled back from a drive-through penalty for overtaking under yellow flags to eventually finish seventh.

The GP2 cars have a second race today as the curtainraiser to the Formula One, with the top eight finishers in the points.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday News

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog