Mitch settled well back into the GP2 cockpit with second place in Friday’s practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. With a solid pace in the afternoon, Mitch qualified fourth for next day’s race with Stoffel Vandoorne clinching pole.
In the 37-lap feature race on Saturday, Mitch was under pressure from Alexander Rossi in the first lap, who like Mitch, started on the harder tyres, but the Aucklander stayed ahead. The drivers behind were on soft tyres getting off to flying starts and closing the gap to the front. Due to some technical issues none of the drivers had DRS available in their cars until later in the race and it was back to old-school racing. Race leader Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly in third pitted early on to change their fast wearing option tyres. Alex Lynn pitted a lap later handing the race lead over to Mitch. On the fresh tyres, Vandoorne fought his way up the field again whilst in the front Alex Rossi managed to stay within a second of Mitch. With ten laps to go Rossi made his mandatory pit stop trying to undercut Mitch, who came into the pits a lap later. Mitch came out behind Rossi and Lynn and on the soft tyres made quick work to move up into third. In the second to last lap Mitch made a brave move on Rossi but in the end couldn’t get close enough to Stoffel Vandoorne anymore but secured a solid second place.
"I think we maximised everything today. I had to pass a few cars when we came out of the pits which hurt the tyres in terms of time and then I had to put in some big laps to catch back up to Stoffel and Alex but just ran out of tyres at the end trying to catch up to Stoffel, good job to them. It looked quite good for us on the options because the others were struggling on the primes. For me the balance is quite similar on both compounds, which is nice, and we were able to maximise on both compounds, which is not easy to do sometimes. I’m pretty happy with the result today.”
Mitch was meant to start the feature race on Sunday in seventh place, however the car stopped on his way to the grid and the race was over before it even began. "I’ve had an electrical issue with the engine when going to the grid which cut the engine out and as I was halfway round the track I couldn’t make it back to the pits.
I’m really disappointed I couldn’t even start the race. I think we would have had a good pace and a podium would definitely have been possible today I believe. A big chunk of points is gone but on the upside we managed to figure out a few issues from Bahrain and our pace was really good as we saw yesterday and throughout the whole weekend which is a positive and we look forward to Monaco now.”
Round four takes place in Monte Carlo on 22/23 May.
- ends -
Follow Mitch’s season: www.mitchevans.com www.facebook.com/mitchevansracing