Mitchell takes it on the chin

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

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.”

Mitchell Evans

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