Close opening round in Riyadh

It was a slightly messy, but close first round of the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy in Ad Diriyah in Saudi Arabia.

Due to rain, the qualifying session was cancelled, and instead we had the times from the practice deciding the starting positions.

Unfortunately there were only 12 cars entered, but still enough to give some good racing.

Simon Evans started on Pole Position ahead of Bryan Sellers and Sergio Jimenez. Katherine Legge was starting all the way back from P9. She had an incident during the practice session, so that was the reason why she was starting so far back.

Turn One of the race went quite smooth, with just some light contact here and there.

Evans took the start from Sellers, while Jimenez and teammate Caca Bueno were the next two drivers. Katherine Legge managed to get into P8 quite fast, and was right behind guest starter Alice Powell.

Simon Evans
Photo: Jaguar Racing

Powell managed to outbrake Bandar Alesayi, going into Turn 1, with a very late dive, which surprised the Saudi driver.

Stefan Rzadzinski made contact with Caca Bueno a few laps into the race, which send the latter into a half spin. Thankfully, the Brazilian was able to get the car under control again, before hitting the wall.

Just a few turns later, Rzadzinski was overtaken by Alice Powell, who was then all the way up into P5, with Katherine Legge behind her.

Rzadzinski continued to drop through the field, which pointed towards some bend steering after the contact with Bueno. The stewards did also gave Rzadzinski a warning for the contact.

Top 3 were within a second of each other, but the narrow track made it almost impossible for them, to even attempt and overtake, since they were matching each other so closely.

The two Chinese drivers Tao Wang and Yaqi Zhang made contact with each other, but they were a long way down the field anyway.

Tao Wang
Photo: Jaguar Racing

Sergio Jimenez dived on Bryan Sellers on the penultimate lap of the race, and made it past, with just a little bit of rubbing between the two cars, which was almost impossible to avoid on the narrow track.

Simon Evans, older brother of Jaguar Racing Formula E driver Mitch Evans, won the first race of the season ahead of Sergio Jimenez and Bryan Sellers. Caca Bueno finished P4, ahead of guest starter Alice Powell and the unlucky driver from the practice, Katherine Legge.

Bandar Alesayi was the best Pro-Am driver ahead of teammate/country man Ahmed Bin Khanen, while the two Jaguar China Racing drivers Tao Wang and Yaqi Zhang had a battle for the final spot on the podium, won by Wang.

The next round of the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy will be run in two months’ time, on 16 February in Mexico at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

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