Stunning start but Kyle's sights already on Winton

Published 4:00pm 19 February 2024

Stunning start but Kyle's sights already on Winton
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Kyle Evans celebrating after winning the main race at Sandown Park.

Redcliffe's Kyle Evans punched the air in delight as he took the chequered flag on his Australian Formula Open (AFO) debut - but celebrations did not last long.

The 19-year-old said he “came down straight away” from the high of a superb victory (see video below) at Sandown Raceway in Victoria eight days ago.

“I might have ruffled a few feathers as not many knew about me before the weekend,” Evans said.

“But it is only one round of seven. I took the Monday off, then work started on the next round at Winton (Motor Raceway, Victoria).”

Evans leads the AFO points table after an incident-packed weekend which started with him being hit and spinning off when third in the first 14-lap qualifying race.

Starting the second qualifier from the back of the grid, he scorched from 11th to eighth by the first corner, was third at the end of lap two and finished second.

Evans started the 23-lap main race on the front row, a fraction behind Miles Bromley, who was third in last year’s AFO and won the weekend’s two qualifiers.

But a sensational start in the Gilmour Racing/KCK Racing 2011 Dallara Formula Three (F3) car, saw Evans lead at turn one.

Bromley overtook on lap two and was more than two seconds ahead when he lost control on turn one of lap 12 and finished in a sand trap.

While Bromley sat in his car, Evans took the lead and held it for 10 laps, despite a period with his rivals bunched up with him behind the safety car.

More pictures - click through

He took the chequered flag arm raised, fist clenched, punching the air in celebration with a 1.484 second advantage over Ryan McMillan.

“I thought things fell into place by the end of the weekend,” Evans said. “The hit (in race one) was just a racing incident. I think I could have finished third.

“But in the second race I had nothing to lose. I just wanted to get through the slower cars and ended up battling the lead for a few turns.

“(In the main race) the start was perfect and (when second) I felt I was starting to gain on the leader (Miles Bromley).

“At first I didn’t realise he had spun off and then behind the safety car (as race leader) I did wonder what should I do?

“But crossing the finishing line and celebrating was great as I hadn’t won a race for a while.”

Evans said his general fitness levels were good, but he will be doing “more cardio work for the endurance side of things".

And working on a race simulator to prepare for round two at Winton Motor Raceway on April 26-28.

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