Mitch Evans kept himself in the top four and the Drivers' World Championship hunt with silverware and third in Round 12, making amends for a disappointing 11th in race one in New York City.
Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing), the prior championship leader, failed to score any more than a few points with ninth and 10th-placed finishes. Meanwhile, Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) suffered a point-less weekend after contact at the start of Round 11 and the end of Round 12 ended his points chances. Stoffel Vandoorne was the only driver to outscore Evans - a good weekend all-in for the Kiwi who sits just 16 points behind the Mercedes-EQ man atop the standings.
"It was pretty eventful," says Evans on race two. "I started P6 on the dirty side and lost position - actually, I probably held position: I lost to Dennis, but obviously Andre had his start problem. I just got into a rhythm, was good, started to pick off a few guys like Sette Camara and Jake [Dennis], and I was just trying to build myself up to the front guys.
"I knew Nyck [De Vries] was going to be hard to overtake, with Stoffel fighting for the championship, but we managed to get it done - he was struggling for pace. Then I was sort of chipping away at Sims - I think he had some battery temp or energy problems - got up to him and he was defending pretty hard to be honest, into a few corners, so I struggled to get by straight away.
Midway through that battle with de Vries, Evans produced what has to be the save of the season to keep not just his Jaguar out of the wall but his championship charge intact.
"Once into Turn 10, he defended quite hard, and Nyck decided to make a really late move on me and almost took out Alexander (Sims). For me, it was just a stupid move - I know he was told to try and overtake me, but I just thought it was not on. I lost position to him, went to try and regain it down the straight, hit this pothole and completely lost the car and flat-spotted the tyres. I thought I was going to be out of the race, to be honest. There was some damage, but I didn't lose too much ground and then got back on track and managed to get Alexander.
"Honesty, I think I had the car to win today. The car was super quick - huge credit to the guys. It would have been really cool to fight these guys, to be honest, but it didn't happen, unfortunately.
"The car's been feeling quick all weekend. Yesterday we just got caught out by circumstance, with the rain and the red flag, so to get some points today was really critical. To start in P6 was decent, not ideal, but to recover was really good. The team did a great job today, so roll on the last four races - I'm up for it, let's see what we've got."
Bird soars through pack to score strong points
Over on the other side of the garage, Sam Bird stormed through from 16th to fifth spot to ensure Jaguar remains in the hunt in the Teams' World Championship.
“To come back through the points from 16th to fifth today is a great achievement," said the Brit. "We’ve known all weekend that we have a really fast race car and we were able to showcase that with our race pace and fastest time in Free Practice 3. It’s been a tough season for me but the team have worked so hard and they’ve been incredible. I’m now really looking forward to our home race in London.”
Published on 22nd July 2022
3 min read