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Sam Fowl overcomes penalty to win opening Components E spherical in Hong Kong

Sam Fowl overcomes penalty to win opening Components E spherical in Hong Kong

Sam Fowl scored a shock victory within the opening spherical of the 2017-2018 FIA Components E Championship in Hong Kong Saturday regardless of selecting up a penalty for not stopping in his allotted area in the course of the mid-race automotive swap.

Fowl entered the pitlane hoping to maintain the benefit he’d constructed over TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne, however and slid to a spot outdoors the marks within the entrance of his storage.

He managed to leap out and into his second automotive with out dropping an excessive amount of time. Nevertheless, Fowl didn’t make his obligatory automotive change within the field allotted to the motive force — selecting up a drive-through penalty within the course of. Nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to cease him.

There have been a number of contenders in a hotly-contested battle as Fowl raced his former teammate Vergne for almost all of the opening stint. Vergne led the way in which from pole place, warding off Nick Heidfeld.

Because the automobiles filtered via the tight chicane of Turns three & four, Components E rookie Andre Lotterer bounced off the wall blocking a bunch of automobiles behind. Lotterer was avoiding the bottleneck and crashed into the obstacles on the skin, holding again Mitch Evans, Nico Prost, Edoardo Mortara and Neel Jani behind.

The E-Prix got here to a halt because the incident introduced out the crimson flags and after a delay the race acquired again underway behind the Security Automotive. As soon as set unfastened once more, Vergne was instantly beneath strain from Fowl and couldn’t maintain him again after a lunge up the within of the Flip 6 hairpin.

Regardless of serving his penalty, Fowl got here out simply in entrance of the pack.

Components E

Gallery: Components E Hong Kong E-Prix, Saturday December 2, 2017

“That was a extremely loopy race, I’m nonetheless making an attempt to course of what occurred actually,” Fowl stated. “It’s unreal for me profitable after a driving-through penalty in Components E. I’d wish to thank the staff, we knew it might be robust this yr with a lot of shut competitors. After I got here out the pits there was a TECHEETAH in entrance of me and thought it was JEV, so I used to be pushing exhausting to catch him! It turned out I used to be within the lead and I by no means in 1,000,000 years anticipated that.”

It’s a considerably bittersweet end result for Fowl nonetheless after being handed a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race for harmful driving within the pitlane.

Vergne defended his place all through the race and admitted to struggling with out regen and no communication to the staff over radio — making it really feel like a victory for the TECHEETAH staff.

“This race was by far my most tough race – I had no radio communication, I spoke to my engineer solely twice within the race and I had no regen,” Vergne stated. “So, if this morning any individual instructed me I’d have these points, I wouldn’t even take the beginning of the race. To complete second off the again of that is nearly like a victory to us. We’re hoping to make things better in a single day and are available again stronger tomorrow.”

Heidfeld noticed numerous Vergne’s rear wing all through the E-Prix — making an attempt to cross the Frenchman in each path, however second place nonetheless eluded him because the Mahindra driver settled for one more third-place end.

“It’s in all probability one of many third locations I’m least pleased about,” stated Heidfeld. “Hopefully this modifications within the subsequent couple of days. The staff has finished an excellent job and to complete on the rostrum is at all times an excellent end result, and it’s important to give attention to gathering the factors for the season. JEV stated he had numerous issues – I attempted exhausting to overhaul him, however I’m not that pleased as I assumed it was an excessive amount of.”

Reigning Components E champion Lucas di Grassi and most important rival Sebastien Buemi each failed to attain factors. Di Grassi was compelled to pit early and switched to his second automotive after sustaining harm to his right-rear suspension, whereas Buemi stopped on monitor with a technical glitch.

The groups and drivers don’t have lengthy to relaxation, because the motion will get underway once more for the second spherical of the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix double-header Sunday.

Sam Bird

Fowl can have a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race for harmful driving within the pitlane Picture by LAT Photographic

Race outcomes Spherical 1 Components E: Hong Kong

1. S. Fowl

2. J. Vergne

three. N. Heidfeld

four. N. Piquet Jr.

5. D. Abt

6. A. Felix da Costa

7. E. Mortara

eight. A. Lynn

9. N. Prost

10. L. Filippi

11. S. Buemi

12. M. Evans

13. M. Engel

14. F. Rosenqvist

15. Ok. Kobayashi

16. A. Lotterer

17. O. Turvey

18. L. Di Grassi

19. N. Jani

20. J. d’Ambrosio DNF

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