After winning the GP3 title in 2012 and completing a solid maiden season in the GP2 Series in 2013, New Zealand race star Mitch Evans has confirmed that he intends to return to the feeder series for a second year - and that his focus is on nothing less than clinching the championship.
"I'm working hard to be on the GP2 grid for 2014 and going for the title," Evans revealed this week. "I did the same in GP3, so I'm hoping I can repeat that if I get an opportunity next year.
"It was a very up and down season this year," Evans admitted of his rookie year. "It was amazing to compete in the GP2 Series but the results weren't what I was hoping for - but there were a few races I was very proud of.
"The whole Monaco weekend - double podium around there was incredible especially in one weekend," he added when asked to nominate his favourite event of his rookie season in the feeder series. "It's probably the most famous track in the world and the backdrop is stunning!"
Longer term, Evans naturally has an eye on following his mentor Mark Webber into F1, and the 19-year-old from Auckland in New Zealand said that he didn't believe GP2's position as the natural route into Grand Prix racing had been diminished by the likes of Daniil Kvyat and Valtteri Bottas both recently by-passing the series and moving straight into an F1 team.
"A few great drivers in the past went from F3 to F1, which is an even bigger step," Evans pointed out. "There's more to it than meets the eye but the traditional progression is obviously from GP2, or another feeder series closer to F1 [than F3 or GP3]."
But before the wheels start turning for 2014, there was some 'fun' to be had in Tasmania before he heads home for a family Christmas on the beach. Evans was speaking to Crash.net
after completing the 2013 Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge multi-discipline adventure race in Tasmania, which saw competitors traverse some 350km of terrain via mountain bike, kayak and trek over the course of five days.
"It was very, very tough but also hugely enjoyable," said Evans of his first participation in the unique event. "I've always wanted to do it, and I was given the opportunity to do it this year, which was a huge surprise to be honest.
"It's very similar to my normal training but just a bit extra volume to adapt to the long days out," he said, with kayaking the only completely new discipline that he needed to add to his usual fitness program in order to prepare for the event.