Clumsy start at Monaco

The season’s 7th Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race was run in Monaco, on the shorter version of the Formula 1 track.

Caca Bueno had taken Pole Position, in front of his teammate Sergio Jimenez, while championship leader Bryan Sellers would start from P3, ahead of Stefan Rzadzinski.

Katherine Legge had been unlucky in the qualifying when she had not just one but two punctures.

The guest driver this time was Anthony Beltoise, who would drive from ninth place out of the 12 cars in the field.

The start was a chaos, since only three of the five start lights went on before they went out, indicating the start.

It surprised Sellers, so Rzadzinski had the front of his car ahead on the way to Turn 1. Rzadzinski tried to squeeze himself past, but Sellers wouldn’t let it happen and held on the inside track. There was a light contact between them, and Rzadzinski came out too wide in the first corner.

When he was back on the track, Legge was already halfway through, so he pushed her sideways.

With debris and Legge’s car parked in the middle of the track, the race director had no choice but red flag the race.

Rzadzinski was also out of the race, because the steering in his Jaguar was damaged.

Caca Bueno, Sergio Jimenez etc
Photo: Jaguar Racing

The race got restarted with 20 minutes plus one lap left.

Yaqi Zhang was actually came all the way up to fourth place due to all the confusion. Zhang, however, handed over the position to Pro driver Simon Evans after a couple of laps, since he had his own Pro-Am championship to focus on. He got Ahmed Bin-Khanen right behind him, so he couldn’t give too much space either.

The two teammates Bueno and Jimenez should stay out of trouble in front, but Simon Evans was right behind Sellers.

Celia Martin used the track’s width and brushed another mounted cameras on top of the armco, which ripped her side mirror off.

Yaqi Zhang and Ahmed Bin-Khanen had a close moment in Turn 1, where Bin-Khanen was the loser of the duel and had to retire with a broken steering. But he managed to get out of the way so there was no need for a Safety Car.

Photo: Jaguar Racing

Apart from the first lap, and Zhang/Bin-Khanen contact, the race was quite non dramatic, which Caca Bueno won in front of Sergio Jimenez and Bryan Sellers.

Yaqi Zhang won Pro-Am ahead of Bandar Alesayi and Celia Martin.

Anthony Beltoise finished the race in P7.

Bryan Sellers continued to hold the lead in the Pro championshio, but Sergio Jimenez is now only one point behind him, while Simon Evans is in P3 followed by Caca Bueno. With three rounds left, something dramatic has to happen for Sellers or Jimenez not to win the championship, since Evans is 16 points behind them, and a victory gives 20 points. So both Sellers and Jimenez must retire from a race for Evans to have a real chance.

Bandar Alesayi is still leading Pro-Am, but Yaqi Zhang has caught up on him in the last two rounds. There are still 36 points between them, so Alesayi has actually a chance to win the championship, if he  gets six points more than Zhang in Berlin, as the next round in Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY.

The German round will be run on 25 May 2019.

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