Experienced New Zealand touring car racer Simon Evans is the latest addition to the driver roster for the upcoming Toyota 86 endurance championship.
Evans will partner 16-year-old karter Marco Giltrap for the two-round series which kicks off at Hampton Downs this weekend.
The series will be one of Giltrap’s first proper race meetings as he looks to make the transition from karts to cars. However, it won’t be his first time in the 86 for Giltrap; the youngster was present at the official test just a few weeks ago.
Both were testing at Hampton Downs today getting some mileage under their belts.
With several national v8 championships and the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Series to his name, Evans ought to be considered as one of the favourites heading into the event.
But Evans insists his primary aim is to continue to develop the skillset of Giltrap, passing down the knowledge he has acquired over a lengthy tenure.
“I’m really looking forward to the racing and helping Marco,” Evans said.
“He has been super strong in the Kartsport scene the past couple years and this is the next step.
“Kartsport is fantastic for young drivers of course but with cars there are so many more factors involved in making it go quickly and consistently.
“I hope to pass on as much of the knowledge I have in those areas to Marco.
“We have no expectations going into this, we just want to learn as much as we can over the two events. If we can snag a result that would be perfect but there is plenty of young talent in the 86 field to show me up.”
“I am stoked to be able to drive with Simon as he has plenty of experience in endurance racing,” added Giltrap.
“I’m sure he will be able to give me a few pointers which will be great as I am relatively new to car racing.
“I’m sure the racing will be great and no doubt will also be a lot of fun.”
Not only will Giltrap have the driver assistance from one of New Zealand’s more successful touring car racers, he will also be benefitting from having ex-McLaren Formula 1 engineer Stephen Giles managing the team’s operations.
The mini endurance championship will be over two rounds this year and act as a curtain raiser for the Sprint Series which gets underway in the new year.
Each endurance meeting will have two one-hour races with a compulsory driver change between 25 and 35 minutes.
The first round will be at Hampton Downs on October 30-31, with the final event at Pukekohe park over December 4-6.