Evans GP participated in the first two rounds of the Formula Regional Middle East Championship at Yas Marina Circuit, with drivers Costa Toparis and John Bennett demonstrating significant progress and resolve.

By Nida Anis

Costa Toparis has been impressive in testing and practice sessions, achieving the second-fastest time in the final practice of round 1 and the fastest in round 2. With an average Free Practice position of 1.5, his FP time in Round 2 would have been strong enough for a front-row position in Race 1, despite the track conditions being worse. Costa’s consistent performance in these sessions has established him as a competitive participant in the championship.

John Bennett, on the other hand, has shown significant skill in practice sessions and races, particularly in overtaking maneuvers. Despite setbacks due to a crash in testing and subsequent parts delays, Bennett has demonstrated his potential by getting as high as P4 both before his crash and in final testing for Round 2. The team is working to address these issues by round 3 in Dubai, highlighting Bennett’s adaptability and value to Evans GP.

The events at Yas Marina, which included the corkscrew and full GP layouts, saw strong performance from Evans GP drivers in testing and practice. However, converting this pace into qualifying results remains a challenge, as strong sector times have not consistently resulted in advantageous starting positions.

ABU DHABI (UAE) JAN 10-11 2023 – Pre-season test of the FRMEC / F4UAE at Yas Marina Circuit. Costa TOPARIS #27, Evans GP © 2024 Dutch Photo Agency.

Both drivers have shown considerable improvement in pace and overtaking skills since their 2023 campaigns, reflecting their dedication and effort during the off-season. In a field that includes several Formula 1 junior drivers, Evans GP’s team members are proving their capabilities.

Evans GP acknowledges the logistical challenges faced, particularly due to parts delays linked to the Red Sea situation. Nonetheless, there is optimism for the upcoming event at Dubai Autodrome, a familiar track where Evans GP achieved their last championship race victory in February 2022 with Patrik Pasma.

Notably, both drivers have made significant strides compared to the previous season, underscoring their hard work and preparation. Both Costa and John have been training on the high-performance simulator at Drivers Lab Dubai, with Costa undertaking additional driver training at Norwell Motorplex. This advancement positions Evans GP favorably for the remaining events of the championship.

As the Formula Regional Middle East Championship continues, Evans GP aims to translate their strong pace into qualifying and race success, with focus on the team’s perseverance and the drivers’ ongoing development.