Kyle finds Formula to Open drive

Published 5:00pm 30 November 2023

Kyle finds Formula to Open drive
Words by Nick Crockford

Redcliffe racer Kyle Evans will be stepping up to the Australian Formula Open series next year after an “amazing” debut.

Gilmour Racing/KCK Racing Australia gave the 19-year-old his first Open drive at the Phillip Island Grand Prix, in Victoria, last weekend.

Evans finished fifth, sixth and sixth, delighting the team which says the teenager has a “very bright future in motorsport”.

So bright that his next outing will be at Sandown Raceway, Victoria, on February 9-11, in Round 1 of the 2024 Australian Formula Open season.

Evans will be in the same Gilmour Racing/KCK Racing 2011 Dallara Formula 3 car in which he qualified fourth - fraction of a second off third – at Phillip Island.

“What a weekend,” Gilmour Racing, owned by Matthew and Donna Gilmour, said, “Kyle did an amazing job racing this car for the first time in very trying conditions.

“Sure, his starts let him down, but this was the first time he had competed in this category. Kyle has a very bright future in motor sport. It was an honour to work with him.”

Evans had a test day at Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick, in June and was invited to race in the last round of the 2023 Australian Formula Open series on November 24-26.

He trained daily - running, riding, rowing, strength and endurance training specifically for open wheelers and a simulator to memorise braking markers and track lines.

“Driving a lap of Phillip Island in a Formula 3 car is quite unlike anything I have ever driven before,” Evans said.

Kyle finds Formula to Open drive

“Approaching turn one, a 90-degree sweeping bend at 230km/h, using all the aero to drive flat out, discovering how physical driving an F3 is over a 20-minute session.

“Having to grip the wheel and brace myself going through the corners whilst letting go of the wheel to change gears.

“I was thrilled as I drove over the start/finish line in qualifying to hear I scored P4. Race one learning how to race a F3, sticking the nose out and using every passing opportunity.

“Having two false starts during 2, 3 made the races a fight to get back with the pack. “

Kyle finds Formula to Open drive

However, he “closed the full length of the straight over position five during the last six laps of the race” and then “battled to the flag finishing a nose cone off P5 going over the line.”

Evans made his debut in the Australian Formula Ford Championships in October finishing ninth with 20 points after the two-day, three-race opening round at Sydney Motorsport.

His racing career started at the age of nine in karts and at Evans 14 switched to cars in the Hyundai Excel X3 Series.

A year later he was in the Formula Ford Kent and after the disruptions of COVID, joined the national and southern Formula Ford Duratec competition.

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