Maiden top 10 Supercars result for Jaxon Evans on home turf

Apr 24, 2024 | News

The trip back home to Taupo International Motorsport Park was fruitful for SCT Motorsport’s Jaxon Evans during Round 3 of the Repco Supercars Championship in front of family and friends in New Zealand.

Supercars maiden trip to Taupo marked Evans’ first race in his home land since 2017, and it was a homecoming of sorts after contesting prestigious events overseas during this time.

Evans was one of many drivers to complete laps of the Taupo circuit prior to Supercars’ first trip to the venue and it was advantageous as New Zealand’s weather made for tough conditions encountered alongside the track’s many surface changes.

Finishing inside the top 10 during the sole 90-minute session on Friday built confidence for Evans, though the tough conditions came on Saturday as he qualified 17th. Rain arrived ahead of the race in which Evans made steady progress to finish 10th in the treacherous circumstances and ended the race as one of the quickest drivers on circuit.

Conditions improved on Sunday and Evans qualified 21st as the top 22 entries were covered by less than a second, highlighting the closeness of the field.

Although just falling short of replicating another top 10 finish by just three seconds, Evans still made position to be 14th at the conclusion of the 60-lap encounter ending the weekend on a high after his breakthrough the previous day.

Evans continues to place as the lead rookie in the standings heading to Raceway in Perth on May 17-19.


Jaxon Evans
#11 SCT Motorsport, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

On the improved car speed at Taupo

“After Friday’s practice session we were pretty confident in our car speed and I think that reflected in the wet on Saturday,” said Evans.

“Sunday morning we still struggled with the qualifying side of things and getting our car in the window. We’re not quite there in the qualifying set-up and I was disappointed to be starting in 21st, but knew we had decent tyre life at least compared to others. We went about our business. I struggled in the first stint, but after the first pit stop the car came alive and I was able to look after my tyres to put out some pretty decent lap times. This was aided by good strategy calls and fast pit stops, which put us in a nice spot.

“There are still some things that need work, but I was really happy to move forward and finish inside the top 15. It just makes qualifying just that little more frustrating as if we start further up, we can race towards the top 10.”

On the strategy to improve qualifying pace

“At the moment it feels like we’re trying to qualify a race car. We are just not getting something right whether that is tyre pressure or how we have the car balance heading into qualifying. On Sunday I felt like we didn’t have the tyre pressure in the right window and these things prove to be quite sensitive in this area, which makes it all that bit harder. Just 0.9s covered the field on Sunday and a couple of driver mistakes on my behalf didn’t help, I lost a fair chunk of time compared to Andre (Heimgartner), so we could have been closer to the top 10 again.”

On racing back at home

“The actual event as a whole was really cool. Kiwis love their motorsport and everyone behind the scenes at Taupo put on a great event alongside those from Supercars. It was pretty crazy driving into the circuit on Saturday pretty early in the pouring rain and people were already set up in their camp chairs with a raincoat on. I was like ‘they’re pretty passionate’.

“It was awesome, cool to be a Kiwi, great to have that support in front of friends and family trackside, which was really special. I can’t wait to go back to New Zealand again because it’s the only home race we get and when we race there it feels like an extra boost.”

On the potential of a New Zealand Supercars doubleheader

“I’d love to see a Supercars doubleheader in New Zealand,” said Evans.

“If we’re making the trip for one event why not make a doubleheader out of it?

“It allows the people who travel with the whole circus to explore New Zealand because I think it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world that has so much to offer in terms of the things to do, but until you have a reason to go over and be there you don’t actually know.

“There are some cool tracks that we could race at. Whether they decide on somewhere close to Taupo or in the South Island, it’d be cool and I really hope they keep pushing for something like that in the future.”