Mitch Evans has apologised to title rival Nick Cassidy and Envision Racing, after wiping out his fellow Kiwi in a potentially title-deciding collision.

Last weekend’s Rome E-Prix double-header was jaw-dropping, with the second race of the event having seen the two title rivals crash out.

The ‘King of Rome’ entered Sunday’s race having claimed a third consecutive victory in the Italian capital on Saturday, after mastering the Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR for the fourth time in his career. Qualifying fourth for Sunday’s race – he claimed pole for race one – saw the Jaguar TCS Racing driver labelled as the favourite for victory once again, given his track record in the Eternal City.

Evans started the race behind championship leader Jake Dennis and Cassidy, who locked out the front row, whilst Norman Nato lined up in third. Nato was dispatched of quickly by Evans at the start of the second lap, before he slotted in behind Cassidy on the approach to Turn 7.

With the top three in the Drivers’ Championship having been in the top three places on the circuit, it set the race up beautifully. However, any hopes of a huge fight for the win were eradicated at Turn 7, where Evans’ biggest fears came true.

The 29-year-old got “caught by surprise” at how slow Dennis and Cassidy were entering the corner, something which saw the Jaguar driver lose control of his I-TYPE 6. His car launched over the top of Cassidy’s, with the halo device having saved the Envision driver.

Evans’ #9 Jaguar reached a staggering height as it went over the top of Cassidy, something which scattered debris across the circuit. Both cars somehow rejoined the race; however, Evans was forced into the pits for repairs. His car, though, was too badly damaged, causing him to retire from the race.

Cassidy somehow completed the race and claimed 14th, despite having had significant damage to his roll hoop. Dennis went on to win the race relatively easily, moving him into the championship lead by 24 points over Cassidy. Ahead of Sunday, Cassidy actually led the standings by five points, with the collision having significantly damaged his own title chances.

Mathematically, Evans remains in the title fight ahead of next weekend’s finale in London, but based on the fact he now sits 44 points behind Dennis, his hopes are effectively over for another year. The Auckland-born driver was left feeling “so sorry” for his rare mistake, with it having undone so much hard work done by himself and Cassidy.

“Firstly, I’m so sorry to Nick and to the Envision Racing team,” said an extremely apologetic Evans.

“The incident today all happened really quickly. I wasn’t trying to do anything silly, but I got caught by surprise and I wasn’t expecting it to be that slow at the apex. As a result, I ruined my race and I ruined Nick’s race.

“I haven’t made many mistakes this season, but this small error has huge consequences. It really hurts as this is a critical point in the championship and one where I needed to score good points.

“We’re still in the hunt for the teams’ championship and even though it will be tough for the drivers’ I’ll continue to push forward until the chequered flag falls in London.”

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