Bob Evans

Full Name:
Robert Neville Anthony Evans
Born:
11th June 1947 (Age 72)
Waddington, Lincolnshire
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

There have been plenty of drivers who have succeeded through grit and determination and this Englishman is one-such case. Unfortunately, once Bob Evans reached Formula 1 it was with teams that were at their lowest ebb.

Early racing career

He started racing an Austin Healey Sprint before switching to Formula Ford in 1969. A race winner in his second season, Evans graduated to Formula 3 in 1971 driving Alan McKechnie’s alloy and balsa wood Puma.

That campaign was interrupted by a neck injury suffered during a mid-summer test at Castle Combe. He briefly returned to FF1600 once fit and won the final round of the 1971 Lombard British F3 Championship with McKechnie’s ex-James Hunt March 713M-Ford. He started over 40 races with the March during 1972 and won again at Brands.

Evans and McKechnie moved to Formula 5000 in 1973 with a Trojan T101-Chevrolet. He won at Snetterton and dominated the 1974 championship once he had swapped to a Lola T332-Chevy. His promise was rewarded with the top Grovewood Award that year but an F1 opportunity remained elusive.

Formula 1 with BRM and Lotus

He began 1975 in F5000 with Sid Taylor’s Theodore Lola-Chevy and when F1 beckoned it was hardly a competitive ride. Louis Stanley was running a single BRM P201 that year and Evans replaced Mike Wilds from the South African GP. The V12-powered car was already obsolete but Evans qualified eight times (only failing in Monaco due to the reduced grid). Sixth in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, he finished ninth at Zolder in what would prove to be his best result in a world championship race.

He signed as test driver for Lotus in 1976 just as Colin Chapman’s team experienced its own nadir. The new Lotus 77-Ford was unreliable and uncompetitive and Ronnie Peterson soon quit. Evans replaced the Swede in South Africa and finished 10th. He ran fourth in the Race of Champions before running out of fuel. However any thoughts of a change in fortunes were short-lived as he was replaced after failing to qualify in Long Beach.

Final F1 opportunities and future career

He retired a RAM Racing Brabham BT44B-Ford from that year’s British GP in his 10th and final GP. 11th in the 1977 Race of Champions with Hexagon Racing’s Penske PC3-Ford, he switched to the Aurora British F1 Championship in 1978.

His Surtees TS19-Ford won at Zandvoort and was third at Donington Park. He later switched to a Hesketh 308E chassis and a pair of second place finishes helped Evans clinch runner-up in the standings behind the dominant Tony Trimmer.

He raced sports cars in Japan during the early 1980s and drove a Dome Zero RL at Le Mans from 1979 to 1981. A member of the Nimrod-Aston Martin team in 1982, he retired from the sport four years later. Evans has since run a T-shirt company and online poster printing business.