Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY continued to surprise, when the season’s fourth round was run in Sanya, China.
Caca Bueno had taken Pole Position for second race in a row, with Simon Evans in P2, while championship leader Bryan Sellers qualified third. It was worse for the first contender, and Seller’s teammate, Katherine Legge, who would only start from eighth position. Guest driver David Cheng started on the last row, but he was also given a Drive-Through penalty for blocking Bandar Alesayi in the qualifying.
The weather was the opposite of the last race in Hong Kong, where it was 19 degrees Celcius and rain. This time it was 29 degrees and sunshine.
The start went smoothly for the entire field.
Cheng took his Drive-through straight away and was far behind. His only chance would be if there was some incidents further up the front.
Legge quickly got past Zhang and began chasing the rest of the Pro field.
Seven minutes into the race, she overtook Bandar Alesayi and was right behind Jimenez.
The sharp elbows were out in the Pro-Am field, where Yaqi Zhang and Ahmed Bin-Khanen collided in the hairpin.
Shortly afterwards, Tao Wang went still on the track. The race director chose to stop the race since they couldn’t get the car removed.
The race was restarted after ten minutes pause. There was only four and a half minutes left on the clock, so it would be a sprint race.
Sergio Jimenez drove past Stefan Rzadzinski in a late dive, but with less contact than he sometimes did.
But there was no change at the front. Caca Bueno won the race, ahead of Simon Evans, Bryan Sellers and Sergio Jimenez. There was, however, a drama for Sellers, who later got disqualified because his suspension didn’t comply with the rules. And Jimenez got a one-second time penalty for the contact with Stefan Rzadzinski, which pushed the Canadian up to third place and his first podium in the class.
Bandar Alesayi won the Pro-Am category, in front of Ahmed Bin-Khanen and Yaqi Zhang. David Cheng finished in P7 overall.
Simon Evans has now taken the lead of the Pro championship back, one point ahead of Katherine Legge, while Bryan Sellers is third, three points from the lead. Sergio Jimenez and Caca Bueno are four and five points behind the championship leader respectively.
Bandar Alesayi is still leading the Pro-Am championship, followed by Ahmed Bin-Khanen and Yaqi Zhang.
The next round of Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be run at 13 April in Rome.