30 Jun 2013

Mitch Evans robbed of GP2 victory

12:36 pm on 30 June 2013

The New Zealand teenager Mitch Evans was cruelly denied victory in the GP2 Feature race at Silverstone overnight after a technical failure caused him to exceed the speed limit during a compulsory pit stop.

Evans had stormed through from eighth on the grid to lead the race before his pit stop.

Unfortunately the speed sensors in his car had failed which meant his 60 kilometre per hour speed limiter had stopped working.

Evans emerged from the pits in second and with 12 laps to go in the 29 lap race, the New Zealander was just 5 seconds behind the race leader Sam Bird and closing at a second each lap.

The 19 year old was then ordered back into the pits on lap 18 for a 10 second stop-and-go penalty which dropped him down to 19th at the finish.

Evans set the fastest lap of the race; a time that was 2.6 seconds faster than the best lap of eventual race winner Bird.

However, the bonus points for fastest lap require the driver to finish in the top ten so Evans was denied for a second time at the British Grand Prix round.

Evans says his car was very quick and he's sure he could have won without the problem.

Ironically, the senors correctly activated the limiter when Evans came back into the pits to serve his penalty, and worked again when he stopped for a third time late in the race.

The team wisely decided to switch him to a set of the soft compound tyres so they could preserve the little-used second set of hard compound tyres for the Sunday Sprint race.

He set fastest lap on the soft tyres on lap 22.

With no points from the Feature race, Evans drops from seventh to ninth in the GP2 points standings.

His second GP2 race at the British Grand Prix is at 20.30 (NZ Time) tonight.