With his win at the Porsche Motorsport Junior Shootout, Jaxon Evans is set to become the next superstar motorsport export from New Zealand and Australia
The Gold Coast-based New Zealander won the 2018 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia title at the Gold Coast finale in November, along with becoming the Michelin Junior champion. Evans then attended the three-day Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout at Circuit Paul Ricard near Le Castellet in southern France. Fellow Carrera Cup Australia driver and fellow Michelin Junior, Dylan O’Keefe, also attended the Shootout in France having earned a wild card to the end-of-season event.
Much of the Shootout testing was conducted on a wet track, but clearly Evans’ talents shone through. Following an anxious wait for the 22-year-old, Evans was confirmed as the winning Shootout participant from the 11 attending drivers; all standout young talents in their respective Porsche one-make series.
“Winning the Shootout and receiving backing as a Porsche Junior is a dream come true. Matt Campbell took this step in 2017 and his career has developed well. I’m looking forward to this exciting new chapter in my life,” said Evans.
“When I received the phone call, and they told me that I was their selection from the Shootout, it was really special and I didn’t know what to say. It’s exciting and a privilege that they picked me and that they put their faith in me after the Shootout. Honestly, it hasn’t sunk in yet, which is the hardest bit.
“To go from GT3 Cup Challenge, Carrera Cup and then win the Shootout has always been my main goal in terms of building a career in motorsport and a future with Porsche. I’ve always closely followed the likes of Earl Bamber and, more recently, Matt Campbell. I’m close mates with Matt and seeing how successful he’s been in terms of racing, but also being able to move to Germany and build a racing career with Porsche, has been so cool to see. So to be rewarded with the first step towards replicating this – becoming a Porsche Junior – is really special and really is a dream come true for me.
“Matt was one of the first people that I told. It’s pretty exciting and we joked about that, from where we were four years ago, we wouldn’t have expected to both be living in Germany in 2019 and racing for Porsche. To see him do it was special, but to follow in his footsteps and make the move to Germany and race in Supercup is incredible,” concluded a clearly thrilled Evans.
Evans discovered his passion for motor racing as a child, when he and his father watched Jaxon’s cousin compete in New Zealand. His mother also has petrol in her veins and has contested a single-seater series in New Zealand. Evans moved to the Gold Coast in 2005 and took up karting at the age of twelve. He underlined his talent by concluding the 2014 ProKart New Zealand Series as runner up. After advancing to the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia, he took home another two runner-up trophies. The youngster contested the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia for the first time in 2017. After scoring fifth overall in his debut season, Evans won the 2018 Porsche Michelin Junior Programme and secured the outright title in the Australian Carrera Cup. For 2019, Evans now steps up the motorsport career ladder to drive a 362kW Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
When Matt Campbell contested the 2017 Porsche Supercup, he scored four victories from 11 rounds, including the final three races of the season. He finished third in the championship that year and is presently in the middle of the 2018/19 WEC season. In 2018, Campbell won the GTE Am class at Le Mans.
“After carefully analysing the data from the Shootout at Le Castellet in France, we chose Jaxon Evans. We are convinced that Jaxon has the talent to celebrate further successes at an international motorsport level,” explained Jennifer Biela-Moll, head of the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme. Evans now receives 225,000 Euros (circa $360,000) towards his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign. The Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme package also includes coaching, race analyses at the track, psychological training, individual fitness plans and media relations training. The Programme is designed to provide the best possible platform from which to launch a long and successful motorsport career.
As well as following in the Michelin tyre tracks of Australian Matt Campbell, Jaxon Evans will hope to emulate the career success of fellow New Zealander, Earl Bamber. “To be crowned Supercup champion in his first season,” began Evans of Bamber’s career path. “Then to score overall victory at Le Mans a year later – now that’s impressive.” This success story is typical of the Porsche Supercup as a stepping stone into international GT racing.
Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager, Troy Bundy, was thrilled to learn of Evans’ success in the Junior Programme Shootout.
“From the start of the season you could tell that Jaxon was on a mission,” began Bundy. “You knew he would be an unstoppable force. We had one of our most competitive Carrera Cup seasons to date in 2018 and for Jaxon to secure the title with such an impressive performance shows his immense talent behind the wheel of a Porsche race car. Porsche Motorsport obviously noticed this at the Shootout and therefore selected him as their Porsche Junior for next season,” said Bundy.
“This reaffirms the Porsche Motorsport pyramid in Australia,” explained Bundy. “We had Matt Campbell move from GT3 Cup Challenge through to Carrera Cup and eventually win the Junior Programme Shootout. From there, he has had remarkable success racing for Porsche internationally. Jaxon followed the very same pathway and has been our second driver to be selected as a Porsche Junior in just three seasons. A benefit of this has been the tremendous swell of interest in both GT3 Cup Challenge and Carrera Cup locally by young drivers who want to be the next Matt Campbell and, now, the next Jaxon Evans.”