Sergio Jimenez capped off his championship-winning season in the 2018-19 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Championship with a dominant victory on the streets of New York City.
The Jaguar Brazil Racing driver aced the start and comfortably controlled the race thereafter, eventually winning by over four seconds from his team-mate Caca Bueno at the end of an exciting inaugural season in the all-electric production car racing series.
The final race saw Jimenez blast off from pole position as Bueno was immediately on the defensive, aggressively cutting across Simon Evans on the run down into the first corner. That allowed Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Katherine Legge to go all the way around the outside of Evans into turns one and two, to get the inside for turn three.
At the back of the pack meanwhile, Bryan Sellers started making his way through the ultra-competitive Pro-Am field. The American was able to pass China Racing driver Ziyi Zhang off the line before making two other superb overtaking manoeuvres on the opening lap. First of all, he got past Pro-Am Champion Bandar Alesayi into turn six, before making a bold and brave overtake on Celia Martin into turn eleven.
It then took a few laps for Sellers to size up and overtake the next car, putting a relatively simple pass on Yaqi Zhang at the turn ten hairpin. But the most difficult customer of the afternoon by far was Ahmed Bin-Khanen. Sellers was forced into making a very bold, late-braking pass into turn six to get past the Saudi Racing driver. Despite making his way past the Pro-Am field in the first half of the race, it was impossible to catch up to the rest of the Pro drivers as they were the best part of eight seconds up the road by the time he had done so.
Out front, Jimenez was extending his lead lap after lap with his Jaguar Brazil Racing team-mate having to fend off the offensive attempts from Legge and Evans tucked up close behind in fourth place. But no matter how hard Legge tried to get close, she wasn’t able to position herself well enough for an overtaking attempt on Bueno.
There was frustration for the other female in the race as Martin’s defence of Alesayi ended without a fight as the French racer locked up into turn six and went straight on, giving up her eighth place to the Pro-Am Champion. But things got worse for Martin, as a few laps before the end of the race, she was forced to stop at turn nine after her electrics had packed up.
In the final couple of laps, Bueno began to pull away from Legge, with Evans putting more heat on the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver than she could exert on her Brazilian rival. But ultimately, it remained as per the status quo with Jimenez winning the final race of the season from Bueno. Legge claimed her first podium since Hong Kong, as Evans ended the year in fourth, some seven seconds clear of Sellers who recovered to fifth.
Ahmed Bin-Khanen won the Pro-Am class in the final race of the year for only the second time this season after just about keeping Yaqi Zhang at bay for the entire race as Pro-Am Champion Bandar Alesayi put in an underwhelming performance and was several seconds behind the class-leading duo.