Jaguar Brazil Racing secured a second successive 1-2 finish in the 2018-19 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Championship with another fine performance around the Berlin Templehof Airport Circuit, as Caca Bueno led home his team-mate Sergio Jimenez.
This result secured Bueno his third race victory of the season, while a close second place finish for Jimenez catapulted him back into the championship lead after Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Bryan Sellers could only manage fourth in the penultimate round of the season.
The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy race in Berlin was another dominant affair for Jaguar Brazil Racing with Bueno leading home his team-mate Jimenez for the second successive weekend after the Brazilian duo delivered the same result at the previous round in Monaco. Completing the podium was Simon Evans for Team Asia New Zealand to claim his first podium finish in three races after seeing off Sellers charge on the opening lap, with the American finishing just behind in fourth place.
Following the race in Berlin, Bueno said:
“It’s amazing to be the first driver to win three races in the series and take home maximum points for the second week in a row. This was one of the toughest races we’ve had this season. I had a good pace throughout the race, but the wide circuit offered opportunities to overtake, meaning I had to hold off Sérgio and Simon. It’s an incredible feeling that I’m heading into the final race weekend of the season as a championship contender.”
Just behind, there was a superb performance from Adam Carroll and TWR Techeetah as the British driver claimed a fine fifth placed finish on his debut in the championship, beating Mexico City race winner Katherine Legge, who was a distant sixth in a difficult race for the British driver which has all but diminished her championship prospects. That will be made even harder in New York City by the fact that Legge has a five-place grid penalty for her move on Celia Martin at the hairpin which ended Bandar Alesayi’s race.
After another tremendous performance from the Brazilian, Bueno’s win in Berlin marked his third of the season in just eight races, and with 42 points left on the table in the New York City double header season finale, the top five drivers in the championship head to the big apple still with a chance to win the inaugural Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Championship.
Legge’s poor weekend had huge consequences in the Pro-Am class, as her over-ambitious overtaking attempt on Martin saw the British driver crash into Alesayi and end his race, while moments before, the Saudi Racing driver was facing the prospect of claiming the title there and then.
His title prospects were made even worse, as after emerging on top following a race-long battle with Martin, Yaqi Zhang claimed his second class win in a row, which now means that the Jaguar China Racing driver moves to within 16 points of Alesayi with two races left in New York City. And after leading the Pro-Am standings since race one in Ad Diriyah, the Saudi racer will have a fight on his hands to secure the Pro-Am title in New York City.
After another strong weekend, Team China Racing driver Yaqi Zhang said: “It’s an amazing feeling to be back on the podium for the sixth time in a row. I started at the back of the grid for this race but managed to work my way up through the field to secure the top spot on the podium. It was a tough battle with Celia for the majority of the race but I managed to get passed her with five minutes to go. I’m looking forward to the final race weekend in New York.”
The 2018-19 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy heads to the final weekend of the inaugural championship in New York City on 13-14 July with Sergio Jimenez leading Bryan Sellers by six points with just one round and two races remaining. And in the Pro-am class, Bandar Alesayi will be desperate to hold off the late season charge from Yaqi Zhang. But with everything to play for, who will claim the inaugural Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy title?