Interview: Kiwi Porsche star on his new life in Europe
Porsche junior shootout winner Jaxon Evans reflects on a busy transition from racing down under to a joint Supercup/Carrera Cup programme on the big stage in Europe.
It's been a whirlwind 18 months for New Zealander Jaxon Evans.
Just days after securing last year's Australian Carrera Cup title he jetted off to France for the Porsche junior shootout, where he beat the best young Porsche drivers in the world to €225,000 worth of funding for a Supercup drive.
He's since relocated to Germany and is now midway through a packed programme that includes both the Supercup and German Carrera Cup.
It's not been the easiest transition, however a fifth last time out in the Supercup at Silverstone, and a pair of podiums in Carrera Cup (Hockenheim and Norisring) are signs that genuine progress is being made.
How are you settling into life in Europe?
It certainly hasn't been easy, but at the same time it hasn't been overly difficult. It's been a good challenge, I guess you could say.
I've already been in the car twice as much as I was for the full season last year, so that side of things has been pretty amazing in terms of track time and learning the circuits. The challenge of learning the tracks and taking it to the best in Europe and the world in Supercup has certainly not been easy. We've had our ups and downs, but a lot of fun at the same time.
I'm sure you didn't expect it to be an easy transition, but where has it sat in terms of your expectations?
I was expecting it to be tough, particularly Supercup. But it caught me by surprise, I would say, a little bit. The competition in Carrera Cup Australia and any form of motorsport in this part of world is always competitive, but racing against guys that started in Europe and have been doing things bigger and better from the very beginning certainly hasn't been easy.
If you miss qualifying or free practice by a few tenths, instead of being not on pole or just outside the top five, you're down in 15th and in the back half of the field. It's very difficult in that respect, as everyone is on top of their game.
We're midway through the season, do you feel that you're at a point where it should start really coming together?
Yeah. Every time we've been out on track we've improved where we are in terms of one-lap speed, race speed, track knowledge, things like that. It's slowly coming to me, which I'd hope it would be given we're half way through the year.
If we can keep improving throughout the year, that's all I can really ask for. I feel more prepared for what to expect each time we go to the race track.
Jaxon Evans, FACH AUTO TECH
Photo by: Porsche Motorsport
You finished on the podium last time out at the Norisring. It's a wild little track, right?
To be honest before I got there I hadn't done much research, I just remembered it from a video game a few years back. We were doing our track work, and I didn't know what the big stadium was. So I asked the team and they said 'maybe it's best if you just Google it...'
But the track looks like the easiest track in the world on paper, but it was far from that. It's very difficult, but a lot of fun.
What's the plan looking forward? Are you laying the foundation for a career in Europe?
Yeah, I think I'm doing a good enough job to hopefully secure a position for next year with Porsche and the junior programme. Maybe the first season hasn't been as great as previous Porsche juniors, but like I said I've improved each time I've gone out, I'm learning from the mistakes or areas we need to improve.
Personally I hope that it's enough. It's not results-wise where we want to be at the moment, but I'm getting closer and closer.
For me, the goal is to make a career out of motorsport in Europe. I'm certainly in the best position to make that happen, I just need to start producing some top results.
You tested a Supercar earlier this year, have you thought about doing the enduros or something like that in the future?
Yeah, sure. I'm always watching Carrera Cup and Supercars when I can. Sometimes I have to wake up at ridiculous hours to watch the race. It's good to see what's happening and who's doing what.
I certainly wouldn't turn my head away from enduros or anything like that. Supercars hasn't always been an end goal for me, but it's certainly something that I've wanted to try.
To race at the Bathurst 1000 would be very special, I hope it's something I can live out one day.
Jaxon Evans, FACH AUTO TECH
Photo by: Porsche Motorsport
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