NEW ZEALAND racing star Jaxon Evans will grab another opportunity to continue a remarkable 2021 racing season when he tackles the third round of the European Le Mans series this weekend.
Evans, the 2018 Porsche Payner Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Champion and 2020 Carrera Cup France Champion, will line up alongside actor-turned-racer Michael Fassbender and Porsche expert Richard Leitz at the Paul Ricard circuit as a late addition to the Proton Competition squad.
Evans’ races full time for Dempsey-Proton Competition contesting the FIA World Endurance Championship, but also raced in the opening European Le Mans Series (ELMS) round for Proton, where he joined team owner Christian Ried and Gimi Bruni to finish second in Spain.
Proton runs a two-car Porsche team in the European series with Fassbender piloting the sister car to the one Evans’ raced earlier this year.
Originally scheduled for a rare off weekend, Evans’ was called in to replace Fassbender’s regular co-driver Felipe Laser, who is committed to racing at the Nürburgring 24-hour this weekend.
Famous for starring roles in the X-Men and Alien / Prometheus movie franchises, Fassbender is a life-long racing fan and began competing professionally in 2017.
He made his European Le Mans Series debut in 2020 with Proton Competition, while a YouTube Series produced by Porsche called Road to Le Mans has documented his driving career and pathway to the world’s most famous endurance race.
It won’t be the first time that Evans, who hails originally from New Zealand’s South Island, has mixed with Hollywood royalty during his racing adventures; Patrick Dempsey serving as a co-owner of the Dempsey-Proton team in the World Endurance Championship.
The call-up to action in France continues a remarkable string of events for Evans who has firmly settled into life racing at a high level in the European Sportscar and GT scene.
The 24-year-old moved to Europe in 2019 following his success in the 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship – which he won.
He finished 6th outright in his rookie Porsche Supercup season, before scoring his first win and finishing 4th in the Covid-19 affected 2020 Season. Doing double-duties last year, Evans also claimed the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup France Championship.
A switch to the Martinet by Almeras team for 2021 saw Jaxon open his 2021 Supercup account with a fine second position on the streets of Monaco last weekend.
Earlier in the year, Evans paired with Christian Ried and Matt Campbell to finish 3rd in the LM GTE-AM class in the opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Spa Francorchamps.
A one-off return to Carrera Cup France, in a bid to get miles in the new Type-922 Carrera Cup Car prior to Monaco, saw Evans claim a win and a second in the two races, in addition to his podium finish in the ELMS opener.
Evans, Fassbender and Leitz will be in action at the French track this weekend, with streaming coverage available via the series’ website and social pages.
All of his Porsche Supercup races are broadcast live on Fox Sports & Kayo Sports in Australia, and Spark Sport in New Zealand.
JAXON’S 2021 RECORD BOOK:
Round 1, European Le Mans Series (Barcelona) 2nd, LM GTE
Round 2, Porsche Carrera Cup France (Paul Ricard) 1st Race 1, 2nd Race 2
Round 1, FIA World Endurance Championship (Spa Francorchamps) 3rd, LMGTE-AM
Round 2, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup (Monaco) 2nd
Q&A: JAXON EVANS
This is a great opportunity to get back into the ELMS with Proton Competition. How did it come about?
“I did the first round of ELMS with Proton, they’re running the two cars, #77 and #93. I was only down to do the first round as a fill in driver, because the Silver, Cooper MacNeil, wasn’t able to make it to America.
“During the Monaco race weekend, I received a message from Christian Ried, the team owner at Proton, asking if I was available for the third round of ELMS. At that stage I thought I was joining him in 77, but then it was obvious to me that there was a date clash with he 24 Hour of Nürburgring this weekend.
I got the message to see if I could join Michael Fassbender, which is a pretty cool opportunity… I made sure I was available for it!
“His usual Silver driver, Felipe Laser who has been with him since he started his road to Le mans, is unavailable as he’s racing in the 24 hour.
“It’s on a circuit I’ve raced at quite a lot now, in French Carrera Cup and some testing, and have tasted success there, so I’m excited to join Michael and Richard Lietz. (Richard) is a funny guy and we’ve been in the same team but never shared a car. He’s another works driver I can learn from and grab some experience while also enjoying it.”
Monaco one week, co-driving with Michael Fassbender the next.. it’s a pretty surreal thing you’re doing!
“It’s crazy! Last weekend I was in Monaco, which is the country of the rich and famous, so this weekend to be sharing a car with someone like Michael Fassbender, who has some great A-list movies next to his name, it’s such a cool opportunity.
“In the end he shares the same passion; he’s passionate about racing, he’s got a crew following him around documenting his journey and it’s sort of a pinch yourself moment.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m just thankful for the chances that have come along in 2021.”
Talking about 2021.. it’s been a huge start to the year with a lot of success..
“It’s been a busy start to 2021. My two programs locked in at the state of the year were World Endurance championship with proton, sharing a car with Christian Reid and Matt Campbell, which is bucket list stuff for me.
“You get to race at some incredible races and also the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And then there’s the Supercup season.
“To already have some success as well has been great. We finished on the podium in the first round of the year in ELMS, which was exciting, we did a lot of testing with Supercup where we have already been competitive and fast.
“To top things off we were able to stand on the podium in Monaco which to me was probably one of the coolest podiums I’ve had the pleasure of standing on.
“As a driver you always want to win, but even standing there in second it was a great feeling and almost felt like a win. It was a great start with my team, Martinet by Almeras, so we’re really excited and pumped to continue that momentum rolling onto this weekend.”
Thing’s don’t exactly slow down from here though, do they?
“I’ve got ELMS at Paul Ricard this weekend, then the next weekend is Portimao for the second round of WEC and then there’s back-to-back rounds of Supercup at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.