Young New Zealand motor racing driver Mitch Evans has some exciting options for next year’s GP2 championship after wrapping up a mixed debut season in Abu Dhabi overnight.
Evans finished 14th in the season-ending sprint race, a result that mirrored his overall place in the drivers’ championship.
Last year’s GP3 champion endured some struggles as he stepped up a grade but still did enough to turn some important heads, gaining points in seven of the 22 races. These included four appearances on the podium highlighted by his third and second placings on a bright mid-season weekend in Monaco.
Evans has been driving for England’s Arden International but two of the top teams are showing interest in the 19-year-old and he will start an intensive series of post-season testing tomorrow at the Yas Marina circuit in the United Arab Emirates.
It will be a crucial week that will help map Evans’ options for next year as he looks to continue racing at a level just below Formula One.
The 2013 GP2 team champions, Russian Time, will test Evans tomorrow. On Thursday he will test with Racing Engineering, the team that clinched the GP2 driver’s championship.
Russian Time won the team title at Abu Dhabi on Sunday with their drivers Sam Bird (Britain) and Tom Dillmann (France) showing consistent form throughout the German-based team’s first year in GP2. Bird finished second in the driver rankings and Dilmann was 10th.
The Spanish-based Race Engineering team wrapped up the GP2 driver title for Switzerland’s Fabio Leimer in the feature race at Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
It’s a hectic week for Evans who has also been invited to undertake three days of testing with Pirelli and Dallara in the current GP3 car. The annual post-season GP3 testing will be run alongside the GP2 testing.
Evans will test the new-generation GP3 car on Wednesday and he has been invited back for more tyre testing next Saturday and Sunday.
Evans ended his 2013 GP2 season overnight with a drive from the back of the 25-car field to 14th place in the Abu Dhabi sprint race. He started last because of a penalty during the Saturday feature race where he had run as high as third.
James Calado won the 2013 GP2 Series season finale at Abu Dhabi yesterday afternoon to seal third place in the drivers’ championship.
Evans’ Arden outfit finished eighth out of the 13 teams. Their struggles with their cars were reflected in Evans’ team-mate Johnny Cecotto finishing 16th on the drivers’ standings.
Cecotto scored points in 11 of the 22 races but never got on the podium.