2020 marks the second year as a Porsche Junior for Jaxon Evans, by now he should have taken part in the two-day preseason test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the 2020 Porsche Mobil1 Supercup season with his new team Lechner Racing, but like the rest of the world, his plans have been put on hold due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
With the first three races of the 2020 season postponed or cancelled, Porsche have put plans in motion to launch a virtual edition of the Supercup season over the next few weeks, with the first race of the series taking place this Saturday.
We caught up with Evans as he makes the most of his time in his flat in Germany that he shares with Porsche Factory Driver Matt Campbell as the duo adhere to the social distancing rules.
“Well what can I say, things have been very strange – not only for me but I guess everyone else around the world with this ‘COVID-19’ pandemic,” explained Evans. “Since the breakout, I haven’t been up to anything too exciting, just trying to do my part by staying ‘at home’ or ‘social distancing’.
“I decided to stay In Germany with my flat mate Matty Campbell, we’ve got a good setup going – our simulator and a couple of Playstation’s to keep us entertained! Training wise, I’ve been out running and doing a few home workouts.”
While his fellow Porsche Junior Ayhancan Guven started racing in esport competitions at the age of twelve, Evans revealed that he hasn’t had much time in the past to take part in online racing.
“To be honest, I’ve never been much of a wizard in the Virtual Racing world. To be competitive you need to dedicate a lot of time to perfect your craft. So, for that reason I haven’t done a lot of online racing.”
Despite not having as much online racing experience as some of his peers Evans is looking forward to the upcoming virtual races and is very happy with the chance that Porsche has presented its competitors.
“It is very disappointing that our ‘real’ season has been delayed, but when you look at the bigger picture, I can’t complain – I’m healthy and safe. The opportunity Porsche Motorsport have given us drivers is awesome!
“To go up against the opposition we normally would in this online platform is a unique scenario, a handful of drivers are using their simulators to train all the time and many have done next to nothing on the sim – so it will be interesting to see where we all stack up against each other.”
Sunday (29 March) saw competitors take part in a virtual test session which saw Evans top the times with a lap of 1:47.738, 0.704 seconds off of the real life time set by Ayhancan Guven in 2019’s pre-season test.
“The test was kind of a cool feeling. Everyone went about it their own way, as you would in real life. The session ran for the whole day and I somehow jagged the fastest lap!”
Asked if his fellow Porsche Junior Guven had given him any tips ahead of the season Evans laughed before responding, “Good question! Ayhancan hasn’t passed on any tips for the upcoming races. He will certainly be one to beat, so maybe I should start asking for tips now!“
Looking ahead to the opening race Evans isn’t sure what to expect, but is going to give it his best shot.
“I haven’t really got any expectations heading into Round 1. I know the competition will step it up and come out swinging, I’ll just give it a big send and hopefully pull out a couple of solid results.
“Even though I posted the fastest lap time in the test, stringing together a race run proved to be my downfall so wish me luck!”
The race format will feature a free practice (30 minutes), a qualifying session (15 minutes), a warm-up (20 minutes), and two 25 minute races which will be broadcast on Porsche’s YouTube and Twitch channels.
The first race will get underway this Saturday (4 April) with times still to be confirmed, Evans will be broadcasting live on on his Twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/jaxonevans_.