It looked to be a robust performance on the timing sheets for Jaguar Panasonic Racing driver , who started the Sanya ePrix from 20th and finished 9th during an incident-filled race. But the result left the Kiwi with a palpable sense of frustration.  

 

 

Race day did not start smoothly for Evans and the Jaguar team. Mechanics had to make a battery change on both Evans and teammate Nelson Piquet’s cars during FP1 at the request of the FIA. The battery is used to power the LED lights in the HALO cockpit protection device. 

 

Then, rogue signage covering the concrete barriers around the 2.236km long Sanya Street Circuit foiled Evans’s qualifying.

 

Evans was on the limit qualifying in Group 2, but clipped the barrier on the exit of turn 5, which saw the track signage peel off and got caught in the right rear bodywork of his car.

 

As a result, Evans ended up starting from a distant 20th position, while Piquet, who qualified in Group 4, started from 22nd.

 

Evans admitted that his points finish was more about capitalizing on the misfortune of other cars rather than outright pace from his car in challenging for position.

 

“To be honest, it was more I gained more from other people’s misfortunes than actual pure passes,” said Evans after the race. “I made a few passes but nothing crazy.

 

“It was quite an eventful race! At times it was tough.”

 

Track signage debris became a serious hazard when a piece fell off on the race restart and got lodged on the front of Evans’s car, obstructing his view from the cockpit completely. 

 

“After the red flag there was a lot of action going on,” explained Evans. “I had a lot of signage – the car in front had signage and then it came onto my car, and I literally could not see anything. So actually I was about to box.

 

“It was caught on the HALO and all through the front. I was about to box because I actually couldn’t see where I was going.

 

“But then it sort of got under the car and it was still attached, but it was less visible and I could actually see.

 

“It was, again, a nice finish with some points, but I’m getting sick and tired of starting in the back. It’s been like this for the last few races – It’s frustrating.

 

 

While Evans saw overtaking potential in the Sanya Street Circuit, realizing that potential turned out to be a challenge, hampered by a lack of pace in dry conditions.

 

“To be honest, our pace was not fantastic, so it was not easy to overtake,” said Evans. “It’s better than [some] other circuits for sure. Compared to Hong Kong it’s a lot better, a lot easier. So from that side it was good. A little easier.”

 

“Since [Santiago] Chile we’ve lost our way a little bit. It’s either the other guys have made a lot more progress than us or we are just not getting the most out of our package.

 

“Just trying to sort that so we can start at the front. In the races we’re not too bad. The car has been fast over a lap before, but not the last few races. So that’s a big focus.

 

“The harder we try the worse it seems to make at the moment.  

 

“Everyone is working very hard, trying to evolve as the championship evolves. At the moment we are not exactly where we should be.”

 

Images: FIA Formula E