Press Release – Toyota Racing
Mitch Evans heads to Europe to begin his 2013 GP2 campaign early next week but before he leaves the 18-year-old Aucklander will race this weekend for one of the most prestigious trophies in New Zealand motorsport.
In a surprise announcement at Hampton Downs today (Thursday) Evans confirmed he will join an international field of drivers and compete in the fourth round of the Toyota Racing Series at the north Waikato circuit this weekend.
The three races at Hampton Downs culminate with the 20-lap feature race for the New Zealand Motor Cup. This famous trophy has been won by some of the world’s most famous racing drivers dating back beyond the 1960s Tasman Series era.
“During the last couple of months we have been focussed on plans to compete with the Arden team in GP2, but I have been following the Toyota Racing Series results closely,” said Evans.
“It’s been a fascinating and very competitive season so I’m excited to have this last minute opportunity to start my 2013 racing year here at home in Auckland.”
“I have many loyal New Zealand sponsors who are backing my international racing so I am pleased to race at Hampton Downs this weekend for them – and for my Kiwi fans and supporters.”
Evans will race for the Stephen Giles Motorsport team for this one-off TRS return – the same team that took Evans to back-to-back TRS titles in 2010 and 2011 and to victory in the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild in 2011.
“It will be a big challenge stepping into a TRS car again. I haven’t raced since winning the GP3 title at Monza in early September and my TRS rivals have already competed in nine races during the three rounds leading into Hampton Downs.”
Evans was invited to assist Giles Motorsport to shake down the teams TRS cars for several of the international drivers at Hampton Downs in late December.
His last TRS race was at the 2012 New Zealand Grand Prix where he led convincingly until an electrical problem side-lined the car very late in the race.
He won the New Zealand Motor Cup at Hampton Downs in 2011 and at the Auckland race in 2012 he qualified fastest, won the first race of the weekend and finished second to Nick Cassidy in the New Zealand Motor Cup.
“Nick and I have had some good races against each other in TRS so I’m looking forward to lining up against him as well as all of the fast international drivers this weekend,” Evans says.
“The New Zealand Motor Cup holds a special place in New Zealand motor racing history. It’s good to be kicking off my racing year in Auckland because this is home – this is where my racing career started when I was six years old.”
This weekend Evans will be sponsored by Wet and Forget, Giltrap City Toyota, Skinny, Banklink and the Mad Butcher.
In its ninth season TRS has been a stand out success, offering many young New Zealand racing drivers the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to compete at the highest levels of motorsport around the world. Young international drivers come to New Zealand to race in TRS and hone their skills on unfamiliar tracks while European circuits are closed during the northern hemisphere winter months.
TRS has assisted many local and international drivers to further their single-seater careers over the past eight years, but the series has yet to be won by an international driver.
The 2013 series is televised on SKY and Prime TV in New Zealand, on Speed TV in Australia, on Speed channel in the USA and to a further 39 countries on the Motors TV network in Europe.