Mitchell takes it on the chin
Mechanical problems stood between young racing driver Mitchell Evans and victory at the New Zealand Formula Ford championship.
The Lynfield resident finished in second place, 104 points behind series winner Richie Stanaway, after the final round of racing at Pukekohe Raceway last month.
But it could have been much closer if Mitchell hadn’t suffered a blocked oil pump and clutch failure at different times, meaning he didn’t finish two races and missed out on valuable competition points.
“It might have been a little bit of bad luck, but that’s mo- torsport and you’ve got to take it on the chin,” says Mitchell.
Aged just 14, Mitchell was competing against drivers three to five years his senior.
“I was hoping, especially in my first season, to get in the top three just in one race.
“To finish second overall was unexpected, but is a great result.”
Mitchell also travelled to Australia, taking part in Formula Ford races before the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix, placing second in one race.
He says the competition was much tougher with 28 cars on the course, compared to 15 in the New Zealand series.
A meeting with Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber, who drives for the Red Bull team, also provided plenty of inspiration.
“He gave me some great tips. To go into the garage and see all the team at work was a pretty big buzz.”
Mitchell’s dad Owen says they are hoping to take it up a level during the next New Zealand season with a drive in more powerful cars in the Toyota Racing Series.
In the meantime Mitchell will continue to race Formula Fords in Australia throughout the winter.
He also hopes to pass his learner drivers licence test after he turns 15 in June, which will allow him to drive under supervision on the open road.
“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a couple of years.”