Flying farewell for Mitch in New Zealand

In a surprise late announcement at Hampton Downs today (Thursday) Evans confirmed he will compete in the fourth round of the International Toyota Racing Series at the north Waikato circuit this weekend.

The three races at Hampton Downs culminate with the 20-lap New Zealand Motor Cup. The famous trophy was won by many great overseas drivers during the 1960’s Tasman Series era.

"During the last couple of months I’ve been focussed on my plans to compete with the Arden team in GP2, but I’ve been following the Toyota Series closely,” said Evans.

"It’s been a fascinating and very competitive season so I’m excited to have this late opportunity to start my 2013 racing year at home in Auckland.”

"I have loyal New Zealand sponsors backing my international racing so I want to race at Hampton Downs this weekend for them – and my Kiwi fans and supporters.”

Evans will race for the Steve Giles team for his one-off TRS return. Giles Motorsport took Evans to back-to-back TRS titles in 2009 and 2010 and he won the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild in a Giles-run car in 2011.

This weekend Evans be sponsored by Wet and Forget, Giltrap City Toyota, Skinny, Banklink and the Mad Butcher.

"It will be a difficult challenge stepping into a TRS car again. I haven’t raced since winning the GP3 title at Monza in early September and my rivals have competed in nine races during the three rounds leading into Hampton Downs.”

Evans was invited to assist Giles Motorsport shaking down the TRS cars of several of the International drivers at Hampton Downs in late December.

His last TRS race was at the 2012 New Zealand Grand Prix which he was leading until a late technical problem side-lined the car.

He won the New Zealand Motor Cup at Hampton Downs in 2011 and at the Auckland race in 2012 he qualified fastest, won the first race and finished second to Nick Cassidy in the New Zealand Motor Cup.

"Nick and I have had some good races against each other in TRS so I’m looking forward to lining up against him, and all those fast International drivers this weekend.”

"The New Zealand Motor Cup holds a special place in New Zealand motor racing history. It’s good to be kicking off my racing year in Auckland because this is home – this is where my racing career started when I was six years old.”