Webber protege Evans admits Jaguar shootout was “pretty intense”

Jaguar’s new Formula E signing Mitch Evans has revealed how “intense” and “tricky” his testing shootout was to nail his new drive in the all-electric single-seater series.

Webber protege Evans admits Jaguar shootout was “pretty intense”
Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing
Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing with Adam Carroll, Jaguar Racing
2017 Jaguar I-type detail
2017 Jaguar I-type cockpit
Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing and Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Andretti Formula E Team
2017 Jaguar I-type detail
2017 Jaguar I-type
Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing

Evans – whose career has been guided by Mark Webber – was unveiled as teammate to Adam Carroll on Thursday during Jaguar's official team launch at its Gaydon headquarters, as predicted by Motorsport.com.

The New Zealander saw off competition from Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell for the drive during the first official pre-season test at Donington Park, and admitted his interview process for the race seat was a demanding one.

“Obviously, a driver evaluation up against other top drivers is pretty intense, the pressure is on,” said Evans. “I’d never been to Donington, and never driven the car, so that was another challenge.

“The car itself is pretty tricky to drive, and it was tough – although I had some good advice from [Andretti driver] Antonio Felix da Costa. I had soak up as much as possible and drive on instinct.

“I clearly did a good enough job and it’s been given to me purely on merit. Hopefully that translates for when we get racing.

“I can kickstart my professional career now, and from that side this is very exciting. I’m delighted to join the team and this will be my main focus for the next 12 months.

"This is the way the future is headed, so it’s great to be a part of Formula E with Jaguar – having the two combined is amazing.”

Jaguar Formula E team chief James Barclay hailed Evans’s pace and potential as the reason for landing the seat, despite the competition from Lynn and Tincknell.

“It was a really hard decision from the great driving talent we evaluated, but Mitch showed an incredible turn of speed and huge potential,” said Barclay.

“It’s great to see a driver like Mitch believing that Formula E is the right way to go for his future.”

Open to WEC opportunities too

As well as his single-seater career that led to GP2, Evans has also raced in sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series.

He is open to further outings if, like Carroll has enjoyed this year with the Gulf Racing squad, a WEC opportunity arises.

“WEC is something on my radar, but I want to give this my best effort,” Evans added. “I’d love to do another championship alongside this, as long as they don’t clash and Jaguar accepts me doing something else.

“At the moment this is my main priority, and I’ve not got anything else planned.”

Interviews by Jamie Klein

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