Kiwi born, ex-pat Jaxon Evans has come from the brink of defeat to clinching the Porsche Carrera Cup France championship with back-to-back wins in the season-finale at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya,
Evans came into the round fifth in the standings after a string of podiums in the previous two events at Paul Ricard and Spa-Francorchamps.
Nonetheless, his points deficit to those ahead of him meant Evans could only focus on winning the final two races of the season and hope his rivals ran into trouble if he was to claim the overall honours.
The talk of the weekend was the tyre degradation. Barcelona is notoriously harsh on rubber, and several drivers among the Carrera Cup field were unable to gauge the extent of the degradation as expertly as Evans.
Driving with the same BWT Lechner Racing outfit as he contested the Porsche SuperCup with, Evans scythed his way from eighth to first across the opening 30-minute race of the weekend, picking off drivers one-by-one as they ran over the cliff of tyre wear.
The victory elevated the Kiwi from fifth to the lead of the championship as his main title threats all floundered in the difficult conditions.
The final race of the weekend would determine the champion, and Evans’ charge to the title would be made significantly easier when an overly eager Richard Wagner cannonballed into Turn One.
Wagner narrowly avoided tagging the rear of Evans as he ploughed into the path of Florian Latorre and Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, both of whom were lead contenders in the fight to Evans.
The incident resulted in a lengthy safety car intervention which left just ten minutes of racing on the clock.
There, the only real threat to his championship was fellow Porsche Junior and reigning two-time series champion Ayancan Güven. But the Turkish driver was unable to launch an attack on Evans, settling for second best as the pair crossed the line separated by just nine-tenths.
Surprisingly, the two victories over the weekend were Evans’ first of the five-round championship. But he insists that the jubilation of winning the title from an outside chance makes everything so much sweeter.
“I knew I had to keep my act together, make no mistake and bring the title home. I am so glad it worked out”, said Evans.
“After I had a really bad start into the weekend with all my gear stolen from my rental car, it now couldn’t have ended any better than winning the championship.”
Evans also aided BWT Lechner Racing in securing the team’s championship.
“It was a fantastic weekend for our team, and it is a great feeling to win all the championships we competed for,” said team principal Walter Lechner.
“Especially as we are newcomers in the French Porsche Carrera Cup, fighting against the more experienced competition. It didn’t look that promising before we came to Barcelona – so it’s an even nicer surprise.
“Thank you to all our drivers, to my whole team for a great job done – it was such a great end to the European season.”