Simon Evans has clawed some more ground on Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy title rival Sergio Jimenez by beating the Brazilian to the chequered flag in back-to-back races in an entertaining doubleheader at the Tempelhof Airport circuit in Berlin.
Evans won the first race of the day from fourth on the gird, having capitalised on an early activation of his first dose of attack mode as well as a blunder by Australian rookie Nick Foster to elevate himself into second with over 15 minutes on the clock.
The Kiwi then claimed the lead while Jimenez armed his final attack mode on the penultimate lap. But the Brazilain become embroiled with an unnecessary scrap with his teammate and countryman Caca Bueno which allowed Evans to escape briefly and claim a thrilling finish by 0.139s.
“Starting from fourth was always going to be hard with damage limitation in terms of the points but I knew I had the pace,” said Evans after his first victory.
“My car was quick; it has been quick every day. I have just made small mistakes but that [win] proves we are definitely not laying down and we are taking this through to the end.
“I maximised everything today, I used my attack modes wisely and it is great to get the Team Asia New Zealand car back on the top step.”
Evans activated his first attack mode after only seven minutes of racing to aid in overtaking Bueno for third.
Australian GT ace Foster, who had been running a superb debut for much of the week, then looked to cover the Kiwi in second by deploying his attack mode. But by turning in too early and missing the activation point, Foster relinquished the position to Evans and was forced to reattempt to activate his power boost.
Evans had kept in touch with Jimenez for most of the second half of the race and when the defending series champion made a late call to deploy his final dose of attack mode the Kiwi sailed into the lead, out-dragging Jimenez across the line.
Bueno claimed a lonely third ahead of Foster and Alice Powell in an impressive showing from the Brit.
The Kiwi the backed up his strong performance to win the day’s reverse grid race which saw drivers line up in reverse order of their championship position meaning Evans was placed 10th on the grid.
The 29-year-old then slowly pickpocketed his way through the field with Jimenez in tow and with ten minutes left on the clock, the pair had navigated themselves to first and second on the road.
Relinquishing the lead to his title rival, Evans armed attack mode on the penultimate lap of the race before launching an attack up the inside of Jimenez at Turn 6 on the final tour.
The Brazilian darted to activate his last dose of attack mode but came up shy of Evans who has sliced the points lead to eight with only two races remaining.
The final two races will be held on an all-new layout of the Berlin circuit on August 12 and 13 with grid order determined by a pair of qualifying sessions.