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Jaxon Evans in front of his car before the ITM Taupo 400.

PMN News/Eroti Navuku


Fijian-Rotuman becomes first ever V8 Supercar driver of Pacific heritage

Jaxon Evans breaks new ground for Pacific athletes, with career best finish at the Taupo 400 over the weekend.

Aromas of burnt rubber, the screeching of drills and people in all manner of racing paraphernalia painstakingly working on mind-blowingly expensive cars. These were some of the sights and sounds that confronted us as we entered the drivers’ garages at the Taupo 400 V8 Supercars Championship last weekend.

As a sports journalist for PMN News, it’s important to cover a wide range of sports and while rugby stadiums are familiar environments - racing tracks, not so much.

But late last year a colleague challenged me to look into an up and coming athlete who was going to be the first-ever Pacific driver to compete in Australasia's elite motorsport competition.

Watch the video story here:

Five months later, I’m standing in front of Fijian-Rotuman driver, Jaxon Evans, who was about to make history.

The first thing we asked Jaxon was his reaction to becoming the first-ever Pacific Supercars driver.

“It’s an amazing feeling, I have a very different upbringing being half-Fijian but born in New Zealand and adopted from birth. Without my parents I wouldn’t have the opportunity for half of what I’ve achieved.

“To be representing my Pacific heritage here at the Supercars Championship and it’s a special feeling to know I’m the first but the only at the moment.

“Hopefully I can inspire at least one other person to shoot for their dreams and end up doing the same thing as me.”

Jaxon (middle) with his family.

Evans was adopted at birth to John and Deb Evans, a small family from Levin who were heavily involved with motorsports. A year prior to adopting Jaxon, John and Deb were gifted a Fijian baby, Joshua, and five years later, they adopted a Samoan child, Molly to their family.

Given all three children have gone on to achieve success in sports, Evans says his family’s support has been instrumental for them to reach their potential.

“My brother is full Fijian and my sister is Samoan and they’re very good at sports as well, so certainly in our younger careers we were off doing everything we could, always provided the opportunity to chase our dreams in any sport we tried.

“My sister actually played for the Samoan under 21 netball team, and my brother was part of the Crusaders academy here in New Zealand.

“We all had our strengths and weaknesses and I’m just happy to be doing what I’m doing. Even more so thankful to have the support from my siblings and family around to keep supporting me on this journey.”

Evans' racing helmet with the Australian, Samoan, Fijian and New Zealand flags.

Evans placed 10th of 24 cars in the Taupo 400 at the weekend, a great result for him and his team. Becoming the first ever driver of Pacific heritage to compete in the sport, Evans expressed huge gratitude to the Pacific community.

“I appreciate all of the support and I hope I’m doing everyone proud from the Pacific nations. Not only my family but my extended family too, and hope I can make them proud!

“And at least inspire the odd couple of people to dabble in the sport a little more, or learn a bit more because there’s plenty of jobs not only as drivers but mechanics and engineers too.

“It’s a very cool environment to be part of, the opportunities are endless and you can also go overseas with it.”

And Evans hopes to one day revisit Fiji, a place he dearly “loves”.

“Definitely, I haven’t been back to Fiji in a long time, we visited with my brother's family and it was a place we’d go to quite often in our younger days.

“It’s certainly a place I want to go back to get in touch with the roots, it’s a beautiful country. I love it and miss it a lot.”