2018 was a breakthrough year for New Zealander Jaxon Evans as he secured the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship title with impressive consistency to become a Porsche Junior for the 2019 season, presenting him with the opportunity to race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for the 2019 season.
Evans (no relation to Mitch) has grown up with motorsport, his grandfather Rob Lester was a three-time national Formula Vee champion and one of the founders of the Manfeild race circuit in New Zealand.
His mother Debbie Lester raced in the 1980’s and 80’s while his father was a mechanic for multiple New Zealand Formula Ford champion Andy McElrea for many years.
Along with this he spent time going to race meetings watching his cousin Jono Lester race single seaters and then sports cars.
Which dream to follow – Rugby or Racing?
Evans’ motorsport career didn’t start until he moved from New Zealand to Australia where like most drivers started off with karting, first as a hobby, but then as he started taking it more seriously a potential career route, hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber.
At the age of seventeen he had to make the choice between bulking up and playing rugby or keeping slim to race in karting, from that point on he’s not looked back, and in 2015 was given the opportunity to race with Andy McElrea’s team McElrea Racing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, and in his first season was second in the B class as he got on to the first step of the Porsche Pyramid.
For 2016 he moved up to the faster A Class and despite winning twice as many races as any other driver in the championship was forced to settle for second place after a retirement at Winton with a championship rival.
The progression continued for the next year as Evans moved in to the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia with McElrea Racing in their 2016 championship winning car, taking five race wins in his debut year.
Returning to the championship for 2018, Evans started the year as a clear contender for the title and he didn’t disappoint. Over the course of the 23 races the Kiwi took six wins, eight second-places, and two third-place finishes. There was only one race that he finished outside of the top seven on his way to championship glory with great constancy.
Porsche Junior and international opportunities
At the end of the 2018 season eleven racers were given the opportunity to take part in the Porsche Junior shootout and over the course of three days run through track sessions with Porsche engineers along with off-track media and fitness sessions at Le Castellet circuit in France.
The competition was tough but Evans showed his worth and came out as the winner of the shootout, joining Frenchman Julien Andlauer as Porsche Junior for 2019, with both receiving 225,000 Euros towards their Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign.
“Winning the shootout and receiving backing as a Porsche Junior is a dream come true.” said Evans after the shootout. “Matt Campbell took this step in 2017 and his career has developed well.
“I’m looking forward to this exciting new chapter in my life,” added Evans.
With Evans now on the path to a potential Porsche works drive he is keen to follow the path that his countryman Earl Bamber has already been down.
“To be crowned Supercup champion in his first season and then to score overall victory at Le Mans a year later – now that’s impressive.” said Evans.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has been a proven series to offer a stepping stone for drivers in to international GT Racing as it supports the FIA Formula 1 World Championship through Europe and into Mexico.
Nine of the current Porsche Works Drivers and Young Professionals have raced in the Supercup and Evans will be hoping to make that number up to ten over the next couple of years.
Evans will join the FACH Auto Tech team in Supercup for 2019, the team that carried Nick Yelloly to second place in the championship in 2018.
Alongside his Supercup duties, Evans will maximise his European opportunities as he takes on the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland with the front running Project 1 Motorsport and has already kicked off the year with an appearance in the Bathurst 12 hour endurance race in a Porsche 911 GT3 R and then the first race of the VLN season in a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Already an impressive start to his racing career, Evans is definitely one to watch this year and if he carries on his current trajectory is set to be a global star in the future.