Mitch Evans: “It could have been better”

Mitch Evans believed the result during the Four Hours of Silverstone ‘could have been better’ after he, Sean Gelael and Antonio Giovinazzi finished fifth for SMP Racing on Saturday.

The Kiwi driver revealed the team lost time during two of their pit stops during the European Le Mans Series race, that cost them about a minute, and coupled with high degradation of the Dunlop tyres during one of the stints, meant the trio lost the chance to finish on the podium.

“It could have been better to be honest,” said Evans to The Checkered Flag. “It was actually looking quite okay, we had some issues with one of Sean’s pit stops and it obviously affected us unfortunately, and we lost about thirty seconds then, and then we were in recovery mode trying to catch back up.

“I think we got up to P4, maybe P3, it was looking okay, and then during my stint, it was looking okay and then I don’t really know what happened but I got massive tyre degradation and just started struggling so i was just trying to bring it back, unfortunately dropped a few positions.

“Then had another issue with one of my stops, which delayed us and lost us I think another twenty seconds, all in all we lost about a minute in the pits, which is not ideal.”

Evans did not run many laps of the Silverstone track before the start of the race, with Gelael running in qualifying and for more of the practice sessions, but admitted it was good to be back racing in an endurance event once again.

“I didn’t have many laps,” said Evans. “Sean did qualifying and quite a bit of the running in practice, which was the plan.  It was all good, it did good for the team, it is still a new car so they are still getting on top of it, and try and improve it. 

“All in all, it’s been a bit tough, but I really enjoy this type of racing, so its good to be back.”

Despite the weather not being the driest during the Silverstone weekend, Evans felt it only compromised them with some of the race set up of the LMP2 car, having shown good pace during the wetter part of the weekend’s proceedings.

“The weather hasn’t been that bad to be honest,” admitted Evans. “It probably hurt us a little bit for our race pace, since it was last minute [to race here], and at the moment I don’t think the strength of the car is completely in the race, but they are working on it.

“We were a little bit under-prepared for those conditions, in the wet we were looking okay but it all in all it was not ideal, it was always going to be hard to get a result out the situation.  We gave it all it could, and hopefully we’ll be back for more.”