Team Asia New Zealand driver Simon Evans wins the inaugural Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy race as the Kiwi was forced to drive a very defensive I-Pace with race-long pressure from Bryan Sellers and then Sergio Jiminez on the final lap.
Evans led the race from lights to flag but was never more than 1.5 seconds clear of the chasing pack, with the top three covered by 1.3 seconds at the end of the race.
The opening lap saw Katherine Legge on the move as the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver was frustrated after qualifying, but soon made her way past Ahmed Bin-Khanen and set after Alice Powell ahead. But VIP guest Powell wasn’t hanging around either, with a few laps into the race, Powell made a superb diving move on Bandar Alesayi to move into sixth position.
But there was action up ahead as TWR Techeetah driver Stefan Rzadzinski attempted a move on the second Jaguar Brazil Racing car of Caca Bueno at turn 18 to no avail and actually damaged the front section of his car. This not only left him vulnerable to Powell soon after but meant he fell down to last place by the finish.
Legge wasn’t done yet with her sights firmly set on the second Saudi Racing driver of Bandar Alesayi which she managed with ease and as such had displaced all of the Pro-Am drivers despite her lowly starting position.
Up front, things were hotting up between the front three and Evans was backing Sellers into Jiminez to make him focus on defending rather than attacking. But Sellers was too focused on Evans that on the penultimate lap, Jiminez sent one down the inside of turn 18 on Sellers and moved himself into second place, but there wasn’t quite the time to snatch victory from Evans as well.
The two Team China drivers of Wang Tao and Yaqi Zhang finished ninth and tenth but are under investigation from the stewards for their inter-team squabbling during the race.
Evans won the inaugural Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy race ahead of Jiminez and Sellers with Bueno holding onto fourth ahead of Powell and Legge. The Pro-Am class was comfortably led by Alesayi with fellow Saudi Racing driver Bin Khanen next up in seventh.