Jean-Eric Vergne scored a formidable lights-to-flag victory at this time, 17 March, within the Punta del Este E-Prix – spherical six of the 2017/18 ABB FIA Components E Championship. The TECHEETAH driver needed to work exhausting for his second win of the season, as he was chased proper from the beginning by reigning champion Lucas di Grassi in his Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler machine.
Earlier within the day, followers have been handled to a flat-out qualifying session, though because the depth rose in Superpole, quite a lot of drivers exceeded observe limits leading to a shuffling of the order earlier than the grid shaped up. This resulted in Vergne and di Grassi on the entrance row, with DS Virgin Racing’s Alex Lynn and NIO Components E Staff’s Oliver Turvey on the second row.
Because the lights went out, the entrance runngers made it via the primary few corners in grid order, however the race was rapidly neutralised by a security automobile interval to get better the stricken automobile of Nick Heidfeld, whose Mahindra stopped on observe with a technical downside.
After racing resumed, Renault e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi, who had made it again via on Vergne’s team-mate Andre Lotterer after being handed early on, noticed his streak of two wins in Punta del Este come to an finish as he clipped the wall on lap 11. This broken the rear of the automobile and forcing him to retire.
Again on the entrance, the Brazilian driver di Grassi was proper underneath the rear wing of the chief, and because the two entered the pit lane for his or her necessary automobile change there was nothing between them. They exited the pits as they entered them, and on the out-lap di Grassi drew alongside Vergne however he was unable to make the transfer stick. Regardless of dropping time within the tried transfer, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than he was placing stress on Vergne as soon as once more, and this was to be the story of the rest of the race. Di Grassi repeatedly got here inside inches of the lead, however in the end the Frenchman in entrance held on to take the chequered flag in first place.
Behind the lead pair there was one other tight battle, this time between the DS Virgin Racing team-mates Alex Lynn and Sam Fowl. Fowl began the race in ninth, however rapidly made up positions and ended up leap-frogging his stable-mate who light within the latter levels. Fowl latched onto the again of the preventing entrance two, however whereas he was able to profit from any incidents forward, in the end he secured a well-earned return to the rostrum in third place.
Regardless of falling again, Lynn nonetheless took his finest end of the season to this point in sixth.
One of many stand-out performances of the day got here from Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans, who had certified on the entrance row however was penalised as the burden distribution didn’t conform to the technical laws. This meant he needed to battle via from 16th place to a formidable fourth, with a sensational go on Alex Lynn one of many highlights of the race.
Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist completed in fifth place and, like Evans, had a powerful battle via the sector after a tough morning for the staff, which has been in sturdy kind for the reason that begin of the yr.
Englishman Oliver Turvey couldn’t replicate his maiden podium final trip in Mexico for the NIO staff and picked up a handful of factors a spot additional again in seventh.
One other storming drive to complete within the factors got here from Argentinean Jose Maria Lopez. The DRAGON driver sat on the penultimate row of the grid because the lights went out and fought his means via to complete in a valiant eighth place. Lopez additionally took the honour of setting quickest lap and incomes an additional level.
Jerome D’Ambrosio jumped up a few place in ninth and Maro Engel rounded-out the top-10 with the ultimate level for Venturi.
The following spherical of the 2017/18 ABB FIA Components E Championship will see the all-electric collection race on the streets of Rome for the primary time on 14 April.
Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, stated: “I’m clearly very glad. I’m not focussing on the championship, however I’m focussing on every race. Clearly profitable the race at this time in these circumstances is to me among the best drives. Racing in opposition to Lucas, who’s the present title holder, was actually robust. I don’t assume I’ve gained that many races but it surely was one of many ones I’m most pleased with when it comes to my driving. Immediately profitable races proves that onerous work pays off. We’re the one personal staff and for us to beat the opposite guys, we’ve to work twice as exhausting as them.”
Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, stated: “To begin with, congratulations to Jean-Eric and Sam. For Jean-Eric on the win, however for Sam to come back from ninth on the grid. It was a very robust race for me, and to be sincere JEV didn’t make many errors, I attempted very exhausting – and I had the quickest automobile at this time. Beginning second, on the soiled facet, I attempted very exhausting on the finish to overhaul him. I’m very happy with the automobile that I’ve however at this time we might’ve acquired 20 factors and we solely acquired 18. We all know that in Components E, while you get the prospect you must seize it. JEV defended very properly so there was little or no margin for me to assault, I feel he did a small mistake coming into the final sector – we ended up touching somewhat bit and acquired tremendous shut. I attempted my finest, the automobile was tremendous aggressive – that gained’t be the final time the staff will battle for victories.”
Sam Fowl, DS Virgin Racing, stated: “We have been somewhat bit lucky with Buemi having a difficulty, getting injury. I don’t know what occurred to Daniel within the second stint, however that was once more one other place gifted to me. The tempo was good at this time to be truthful, I simply needed these two to battle somewhat bit extra. I ran out of laps however a really sturdy race, it was good to get one other podium and we wanted it from the place we began. It was injury limitation within the championship as JEV is streaking away as he did an incredible job, and it’s nice to see Lucas again on it too. One factor I wish to say is final week, Britain misplaced an incredible journalist – a terrific man who introduced a lot power to others. It’s not a win, it’s the very best I might do, however I wish to dedicate this to Henry Hope-Frost.”
2018 CBMM Niobium Punta del Este E-Prix (Rd 6)
1 – Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH, 50:43.809s (28)
2 – Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, +zero.447s (18)
three – Sam Fowl, DS Virgin Racing, +2.611s (15)
four – Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +four.075s (12)
5 – Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, +four.224s (10)
6 – Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, +7.672s (eight)
7 – Oliver Turvey, NIO Components E Staff, +11.818s (6)
eight – Jose Maria Lopez, DRAGON, +12.612s (5)
9 – Jerome D’Ambrosio, DRAGON, +22.242s (2)
10 – Maro Engel, Venturi Components E Staff, +26.293s (1)
11 – Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti Components E, +27.335s
12 – Andre Lotterer, TECHEETAH, +38.731s
13 – Luca Filippi, NIO Components E Staff, +39.926s
14 – Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, +43.139s
15 – Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, +47.194s
16 – Tom Blomqvist, Andretti Components E, +59.299s
17 – Edoardo Mortara, Venturi Components E Staff, +1 Lap
DNF – Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, 29 Laps
DNF – Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 25 Laps
DNF – Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, 1 Lap
Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH – 109
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing – 79
Sam Fowl, DS Virgin Racing – 76
Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams – 52
Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing – 45
TECHEETAH – 127
Mahindra Racing – 100
DS Virgin Racing – 93
Panasonic Jaguar Racing – 86
Renault e.dams – 59
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler – 58
Venturi Components E Staff – 35
NIO Components E Staff – 33
Andretti Components E – 20
DRAGON – 19