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Portland’s podium rebound doesn’t stop Evans seething

Mitch Evans is still seething from his Saturday penalty, despite finishing on the podium in the second race of the Portland E-Prix and closing the gap to the championship lead to just 12 points.

Evans won on the road on Saturday but was hit with a 5s penalty for contact with NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes. His Jaguar TCS Racing team requested a review of the incident, but that was quickly thrown out. Evans then went on to finish third in Sunday’s race, but despite ending the weekend on a positive note, the events of the first race were still lingering.

“I’m still frustrated,” he said on Sunday evening. “Honestly, I think the decision yesterday was a bit of a disgrace, the end decision and doing it in the race. That one really hurts and I’m really [angry] about it to be honest. Really not happy about that; overnight, that’s not going to disappear.

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“With that result I’d be leading the championship right now, so I hope the guys in that room up there realize that. I’ve made it very obvious that I’m not happy and I think we need to maybe internally discuss some of the processes that need to be done in the future, and the consistency I think is becoming really inconsistent, consistently, ironically. I’ll try and leave it there because the frustration’s still very much in my blood.”

Sunday’s result was a decent one – Evans’ third place is his fourth podium of the year and brings him within touching distance of teammate Nick Cassidy in the championship fight – but despite that, he still felt that he had more to give.

“Today I was hoping for a slightly better qualifying. Qualifying 11th wasn’t part of the plan after being quick all weekend, and it was really difficult to make progress in the race. I was hoping to get to the front earlier but I just couldn’t.

“[I] left my Attack late, which wasn’t really part of the plan, but I just couldn’t really get in the position to take it, had to really get my elbows out throughout the race. It was a tricky one, and doing the Attack so late really cooked my energy. I had a small advantage throughout the race and that disappeared and I just had to survive the last few laps to get home.”

While Cassidy is now firmly in his crosshairs, Evans admitted, “I really feel for Nick as well,” and despite the brewing title rivalry between both, he knows defeating TAG Heuer Porsche in the Teams’ championship and beating the German manufacturer in the Manufacturers’ Trophy remain his team’s main goals as the series heads to London for the final two races of the season.

“A huge focus for us is to beat Porsche and it’s going to be a really big fight, and hopefully Antonio (Felix da Costa) stops winning so it gives us a bit of a chance, but it’s going to be a good fight,” he said. “We were quick there last year. It should be a track that suits our car, but we know that the Porsche, they’ve got a really strong package, and [da Costa] and Pascal (Wehrlein) are really performing well, so it’s going to be a big fight.”

There has been tension between Evans and Cassidy at points over the season, but Evans insisted that there will be respect between the two as they look to take the title for Jaguar.

“It will be what will be,” he said. “Whoever does a better job will come out on top. [I] just hope for a really clean fight and…looking forward to it.

“Me and him know, we’ve got so much respect for each other. Nick has had such a great season,” he added. “Maybe it’s going to be a conversation that we’ll have, or will have to have or not, but I think we understand what’s at stake and he’s the last person that I want to fight too hard with as well.

“It’s not going to be easy if we get to that situation, but it’s a situation that we may be in. It’s a good problem to have, having both drivers fighting for the championship, but we’re going to have to manage it as much as we can and hopefully either him or myself come out on top. That’ll be amazing.”

Story originally appeared on Racer