Mitch Evans claimed victory in Rome once again on Saturday, with the ‘King of Rome’ now targeting consecutive back-to-back wins in the Italian capital on Sunday.

Evans and the Rome E-Prix are seemingly a match made in heaven, after the Jaguar TCS Racing driver won a third consecutive race at the Eternal City. His race one win on Saturday was actually his fourth around the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR, with the New Zealander’s first win in Formula E having also come in Rome back in 2019.

Fast forward to this weekend and Evans has the chance to replicate his back-to-back wins in last season’s double-header, something he admits is “there for the taking”. The Auckland-born driver was brilliant on Saturday and managed the race well, despite “one little scare”.

Evans topped free practice 2 Saturday morning before securing pole position in qualifying, where he defeated team-mate Sam Bird in the final. Bird actually led the opening laps of the race ahead of Evans, before the 29-year-old returned to the front.

He found himself in second behind Sacha Fenestraz on the ninth lap though, when a red flag was flown, following a huge high-speed multi-car crash which was initiated by Bird crashing at Turn 6. The race finally resumed 42 minutes later, albeit with a significantly lighter grid.

The title contender remained behind Fenestraz who was considerably low on energy, causing the Frenchman to bunch the field up in a bid to improve his energy management situation. Evans did finally get past the Nissan driver on Lap 16, but not before Jake Dennis had overtaken the Jaguar driver and Fenestraz for the race lead.

Evans quickly caught Dennis where he then sat behind the Andretti driver, who’d built a big enough gap momentarily to activate his first Attack Mode and, crucially, remain in the lead. A couple of laps later, Evans was tactically allowed past his title rival, who activated his second Attack Mode.

Lap 20 and Evans tried to activate his final Attack Mode as well; however, he missed one of the activation sensors. It meant he dropped back behind Dennis essentially for no reason, giving up crucial time. Thankfully, the Kiwi had two-percent more energy and quicker pace than Dennis, allowing him to successfully activate his Attack Mode on the following lap and quickly catch back up.

The additional power and energy advantage helped Evans breeze past Dennis on Lap 22, on the way into the difficult Turn 7. He went on to win the race fairly comfortably, as Dennis dropped off due to his low-energy levels. Evans ended up winning ahead of Nick Cassidy, with Dennis having fallen to fourth.

In terms of the standings, the result saw Evans move ahead of Pascal Wehrlein – who finished eighth – and into third, where he sits 20 points behind new championship leader Cassidy.

Replicating his two wins in the historic city from last season is now very much on the cards for Evans, something he’s heavily backed to do. His win also meant he was able to “break the curse” and become the first driver to win from pole position in Rome, a feat he was targeting.

Evans is aware that he could claim back-to-back wins in the Eternal City once again on Sunday in what would be his fifth victory at the stunning venue, if himself and the Coventry-based team “take the right steps”.

“It was almost two races that we had today,” Evans said in his post-race interview on Saturday.

“First of all it was good to see everyone was fine after that shunt, it was pretty big and obviously Sam had a pretty scary moment, so good to see everyone is fine.

“After that I was a little bit down on energy compared to Nick and Jake, so I had to try and equalise that, the energy targets dropped a lot after the safety car, so it became much more of an energy race than we were expecting. But I managed it well, and the team helped guide me through like always, and then leave the rest for me.

“One little scare was missing the ATTACK, I missed it at the last loop, I was going through super slow and I still missed it! I need to practice that tomorrow. But a huge result today, maximum points, which was what I needed. Only a small dent into Nick’s lead, but it’s better than nothing.

“We were hoping to break that curse [becoming the first driver to win from pole in Rome]. Four wins here is amazing, not sure what it is about this place, but I love the track. We obviously have another day tomorrow, and I think people will make another big step, Nick was quick in the race as well.

“It is there for the taking tomorrow but we need to take the right steps, and hopefully we have got a good balance like we had today.”

Evans started Sunday in perfect fashion, by topping free practice 3. Should he claim pole for the 14th round of the 2022/23 Formula E season, then it’d be the fifth consecutive session he’s topped in the Italian capital this weekend.

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