While several Kiwi international motorsport stars are left standard at home with oversea plans stalled, Simon Evans has been granted an exception to contest the final seven races of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy.
Evans sits second in the standings after three races in what has been confirmed as the swansong season for the short-lived Formula E support class.
Having claimed victory in the season-opener at Diriyah, the 29-year-old has played second fiddle to his largest title threat Sergio Jimenez across the following pair of races to be six points adrift of the Brazilian before the global pandemic had the series suspended and Evans return home to New Zealand.
After months of deliberation, the FIA finally hammered out a revised calendar for both the eTrophy and Formula E, with the support category to run seven races across three track configurations of the Berlin Tempelhof Airport.
The Kiwi is slated to fly out from Auckland International Airport on Thursday to allow him ample time to reunite with his Asia New Zealand team ahead of the opening race on August 5.
To throw the cat among the pigeons, a ‘Reverse Grid’ race will also be run for the first time in the series in round eight.
The grid order will be determined by each driver’s average finishing position in previous races with the result being championship-critical for a series where overtaking has proven to be challenging.
For Evans, this means a stronger emphasis on the role qualifying has on his championship ambitions.
“I have had really good speed in every race this year,” said Evans. “So, I’m sure I will be in the [championship] hunt the whole way.
“Qualifying is always important but more so in eTrophy, so I will have a big focus on that.”
Since the inaugural race of the series, Evans has proven to be exceptionally quick. Across one-and-a-half seasons his lowest result is sixth with seven podiums from 12 races.
2020 will also be Evans’ last chance at the crown in the world’s first all-electric production car race series as the economic aftershocks of the pandemic has compelled Jaguar to scarp the class after just two seasons.
The eTrophy thus becomes the first international motorsport series to be abandoned directly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is believed that there is currently no other support series set to replace the I-PACE eTrophy from next season.
The string of seven races for Evans kicks off on August 5 with follow up races on August 6, 8, 9 (two races), 12 and 13.