A rollercoaster qualifying session saw Mitch Evans go through to his second super pole shoot out of the season with the third fastest time. Team mate Nelson Piquet Jr suffered damage to his car after hitting one of the circuit’s unforgiving walls. In super pole, Mitch put his Jaguar I-TYPE 2 third quickest before a technical infringement pushed him back to 16th on the starting grid.
Both Nelson and Mitch made encouraging starts to the race, moving forward together, before a safety car on lap five paused progress. Unfortunately, Nelson suffered a technical issue shortly after and had to retire before the end of the race.
Showcasing his determination, raw-pace and instinct for overtaking, Mitch was soon into the top ten and by lap eighteen he was well-placed for more points. Following a quick pit stop he sat sixth with less than fifteen laps remaining. He completed one of the overtaking moves of the day, on the inside of Alex Lynn at the daunting turn 13 to cross the line in fourth.
As the British team head back to Europe for the first Rome E-Prix Mitch has moved up to sixth in the driver standings. Nelson remains one place higher in fifth.
James Barclay, Team Director Panasonic Jaguar Racing: “Finishing fourth after a challenging day is reward for a lot of hard work. The Jaguar I-TYPE 2 can race at the sharp end of the grid we were just unlucky with Mitch’s penalty. We paid a big price for a very small infringement but the rules are clear. Starting sixteenth and finishing fourth is phenomenal and shows that as a team we are capable of more for the rest of the season. We’ll take the positives, look forward to Rome and competiting for more points in Europe. ”
Mitch Evans, #20: “After starting out of position with the penalty and starting towards the back it was a really good recovery. It’s a little bit frustrating as we could have pushed the guys at the front if we started up there but it gives us confidence for the rest of the season. It was a sprint race today and I enjoyed racing hard. Unfortunately not a podium but we’re looking forward to Rome and we’ll give it our best.”
Nelson Piquet Jr, #3: “Qualifying was going well until I kissed the wall. I made a decent start in the race but then after contact I had an broken driveshaft . I’d like to thank all the team who worked very very hard to get the car together for the race after qualifying, they did an amazing job. With so much potential we go to the European leg of the series with a great deal of optimisim.”
On Saturday 14 April Panasonic Jaguar Racing will race in Rome for the first time in Formula E’s history.