Pascal Wehrlein stormed to a dominant victory in the penultimate race of Formula E’s Race at Home Challenge esports series, taking the points lead of the Drivers’ Championship by doing so ahead of tomorrow’s finale.
In the run-up to the event on the digital Brooklyn Street Circuit, only one point separated Wehrlein from title rival Stoffel Vandoorne and by taking pole position, the Mahindra Racing driver drew alongside the Belgian.
While Wehrlein started at the front of the field after beating Kelvin van der Linde – who replaces Daniel Abt in the series – to the top spot, Vandoorne only managed fifth, pushed off the second row by fellow title protagonist Maximilian Guenther.
Securing a strong start off the line, Wehrlein maintained the lead into Turn 1 from van der Linde while Oliver Rowland launched forward to third, duelling with Guenther and Vandoorne over the opening tour of 15.
Settling into a rhythm, Wehrlein only extended his lead and as van der Linde fell out of range, the South African quickly fell into the clutches of Oliver Rowland.
The Briton sized up the Audi driver over the coming laps and as time began to run out, launched his offensive, looking around the outside of Turn 10 before pouncing up the inside of Turn 11 to take second with three corners of the race remaining.
Ahead and with a calculated advantage of three seconds, Wehrlein took victory ahead of the Nissan e.dams driver, with van der Linde third to take Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s first points finish in the series.
Vandoorne failed to capitalise on the close racing ahead and missed out on the podium by taking fourth while Guenther completed the top five behind, failing to make an impression on the now former championship leader.
Felipe Massa fronted a 6-7 result for ROKiT Venturi Racing as team-mate Edoardo Mortara took seventh – behind whom was Antonio Felix da Costa who notched four points for his DS Techeetah team.
Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns took ninth while Oliver Turvey completed the top 10, again taking points for his NIO 333 team.
In the Challenge Grid, Lucas Mueller beat Kevin Siggy to victory while Joshua Rogers completed the podium.
With one final race remaining – in which double points are on offer – Wehrlein holds a 12-point advantage over Vandoorne in the Drivers’ Championship while Guenther remains in contention, 47 points back with 50 still on offer.
|3||Kelvin van der Linde||+3.796s|
|8||Antonio Felix da Costa||+22.918s|
|13||Alexander Sims||14 Laps|
|14||Sam Bird||13 Laps|
|15||James Calado||12 Laps|
|16||Ma Qing Hua||11 Laps|
|17||Jean-Eric Vergne||9 Laps|
|18||Andre Lotterer||8 Laps|
|19||Joel Eriksson||7 Laps|
|20||Lucas di Grassi||6 Laps|
|21||Nyck de Vries||5 Laps|
|22||Brendon Hartley||4 Laps|
|23||Jerome D’Ambrosio||2 Laps|
|24||Sebastien Buemi||2 Laps|