Such is the nature of the tight and twisty track, overtaking opportunities are always limited, except for those enabled by DRS, and from 14th on the grid Mitch had his work cut out in race one. However, he made a strong getaway on the softer tyres and completed the first lap in 10th position. But, that was to be the sum of his afternoon’s progress. After pitting on lap 10 along with the race leaders to change onto the harder tyres, Evans spent a lonely race before being caught and passed in the closing laps by his former Russian Time team-mate, Artem Markelov, who was able to deploy DRS to sweep past Mitch at turn two. Evans ran out the remaining laps in 10th place to score the final championship point on the table.
Today’s 28-lap sprint race got off to a lively start after the leaders argued their way through turn one and then Arthur Pic spun on his own accord at turn two into the path of the oncoming traffic. In the ensuing melee, several cars were taken out including those of Luca Ghiotta, Alex Lynn and Nobuharu Matsushita. Evans though did well to avoid the carnage and emerged in fifth place. The race was brought under the control of the safety car for a few laps and when it restarted, Mitch had moved up a further position after Antonio Giovinazzai pitted for front wing damage.
However, Evans was unable to stay in contention with the Racing Engineering pair of Norman Nato and Jordan King ahead of him and quickly had his mirrors filled with Markelov again. This time the young Russian used DRS at turn one to make his move. The only other battle Mitch had was with Oliver Rowland who was never far behind and came within DRS range on lap 24. Mitch though was able to defend his fifth position to the flag.
Although Mitch has slipped to seventh in the championship on 77 points, he won’t have long to wait for the opportunity to try again as the GP2 Series goes to Hockenheim next weekend, July 29-31, the last race before the four-week summer break.
"I don’t think I passed anyone on track all weekend, apart from on the opening lap where I was able to capitalise,” said Mitch afterwards, "Both my races were okay but not spectacular and I was never in a position to attack. We ran exactly the same set-up as last year but the track has since been resurfaced. Getting the tyres into the right
window is still something we’re working on but we’re not the only ones in that position. The formbook has been yo-yo-ing all season between the teams but the good thing is there’s still plenty of races left and points to chase. Traditionally, Hockenheim has been a good track for me – I’ve won there twice in the past, so I’m hoping to be strong there.”