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Formula E Race 2, Season 2, Gets Racy And Viewers

Image Credit: FIA Formula E
 

Formula E Race 2, Season 2, Gets Racy And Viewers

In the short life of FIA's technology promotion of automobile street racing known as Formula E, most expect reliability and stable performance, with few accidents to characterize an event. After all, the cars are based on a formula that uses electric-power that has to be modulated during the race in order to get the most from a two car, one exchange pit-stop race to the end.

What happened on the track during the YCM Putrajaya ePrix ... the second race of season two came to be as unexpected as the level of TV broadcast viewership in North America.

Image Credit: FIA Formula E


Even before the race had started, Stephane Sarrazin was in trouble as his Venturi cut out on the dummy grid. With the Frenchman unable to take up his place on the front row alongside the Julius Baer Pole Position winner Sebastien Buemi, the start had to be delayed as he was pushed to the back of the field.

 

 


With no one directly alongside him, Buemi (Race 1 and driver points leader) had a clear run into the first corner, and as was the case in the season-opener in Beijing, the Renault e.dams driver pulled away to a comfortable lead.

 

 

 

 

Image Credit: FIA Formula E

 

 

 

But this would be no back-to-back win for the Swiss native as his car ground to a halt as the race neared its mid-way point.

 

 
With Buemi's car stopped on track, the Renault e.dams team opted to pit team-mate Nicolas Prost at this point. He had also been suffering issues with his car cutting out. The early pitstop ensured the Frenchman took over the lead after all of the mid-race car swaps took place, but as he had to make his energy last for longer than his rivals, combined with his car troubles he was unable to prevent the trailing pack from passing him ... modulation.

 

Lucas di Grassi - Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport. Image Credit: FIA Formula E

 

 

Lucas di Grassi - Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport took over in second following the pitstop phase, but only because Dragon Racing's Loic Duval suffered an over-long stop. The Frenchman had briefly held the lead following Buemi's troubles, but was now behind, not only to di Grassi, but the impressive Team Aguri car of Antonio Felix da Costa as well.

 

 
As Prost struggled with his car cutting out, di Grassi made his move for the lead. Behind these two, Da Costa and Duval entertainingly disputed third. Eventually both found a way by the Renault e.dams and Duval started to close in on the leader. But when a damper broke in the suspension of his car, his great run was ended and di Grassi was left without being pressured at the front and eventually collected the win.

 

Image Credit: FIA Formula E

 

 

"You can see how difficult the conditions were with the amount of sand I have in my eye, the amount of sand I have in the car," he admitted. "It was an extremely tough race, mainly determined by battery temperature. But gladly we managed it better than the others, we did a fantastic job. The team in the background did a perfect job with the strategy and we managed to claim the victory and I'm now the leader in the championship."

 

 
After a mistake in qualifying and a brush with the wall, DS Virgin's Sam Bird started back in 14th.
 
But the 2014 Putrajaya ePrix winner has an affinity with the circuit, and while those around him were having troubles he was able to concentrate on driving his own race, staying out of trouble and when Jerome D'Ambrosio crashed out of second place for Dragon on the final lap, the Brit inherited the runner-up spot.
 
"I'm absolutely chuffed," he beamed. "This one is for the boys at Virgin - I don't think that too many people know that before the race we were down in the dumps because I didn't think we were going to finish the race because we only had one battery in the car. The Virgin boys fixed the car so quick, this is for the Virgin boys! If people don't say Formula E is exciting, then I think they didn't watch that race. It was carnage, but cool carnage. It's a series that people should watch because that's fantastic racing, it's unreal."
 
Da Costa's great run for Aguri ended when his car cut-out too, which handed a podium finish to Andretti's Robin Frijns. However, the Dutchman was exceptionally fortunate to finish the race after clouting the wall as he made a passing move on the hobbled Duval.
 
Even though the suspension and steering were deranged, he somehow kept the car pointing in the right direction and crawled over the line for his first Formula E podium.

 

P1 Lucas di Grassi - Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport | P2 Sam BIRD - DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team | P3 Robin FRIJNS     Andretti Formula E Race Team spray podium celebration champagne around to all. Image Credit: FIA Formula E

 

 

"I felt like I was a rally driver!" he exclaimed. "Duval had a problem in front of me and he also had a suspension failure. I overtook him before Turn 9 and I went in just a bit too quick and there was a lot of rubber and dirt. I was on it and I saw the wall coming and I said, 'this is it, it's over'.

 

 
It was quite a big hit and the rear was completely bent, the steering was totally not straight any more. Right corners were fine but in left corners I really had to take it easy. But I'm surprised how strong the Formula E car is."
 
Image Credit: FIA Formula E

 

Despite his problems at the start Sarrazin came through to fourth, while Bruno Senna took fifth for Mahindra Racing. Da Costa managed to get his car restarted and came home sixth, while Daniel Abt finished seventh for Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport.

 

 
Nelson Piquet Jr was again a FanBoost winner and kept out of trouble to score his first points of the season for NEXTEV TCR in eighth, while Nick Heidfeld finished ninth despite having been tipped into a spin at the first corner following a three-way tussle with Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Virgin Racing) who was eliminated on the spot and Jacques Villeneuve (Venturi).Prost picked up the final point in 10th, while Buemi had the consolation of securing the Visa Fastest Lap and two bonus points.
 
After one of the most eventful races in Formula E's short history, the teams and drivers now have a well-earned break before the series resumes in the amazing beachside setting of Punta del Este on December 19.

 

FIA Formula E Podium - P1 Lucas di Grassi - Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport | P2 Sam BIRD - DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team | P3 Robin FRIJNS     Andretti Formula E Race Team. Image Credit: FIA Formula E

 

 

This excerpted and edited from APEX RACING PR -

 

 
FORMULA E BEATS F1 TO BREAK AMERICA
APEX RACING PR - November 11, 2015

The US has a growing appetite for electric racing according to the latest TV viewing figures, which demonstrate that Formula E has greater popularity in North America than F1.

The Nielson ratings demonstrated that the Putrajaya ePrix coverage on FOX scored a 1.2 overnight rating for the replay on Sunday afternoon - a higher rating than any F1 race achieved this year in the US, with the Monaco Grand Prix drawing a peak rating of 1.1 as the most watched race.

The live broadcast of the Putrajaya race on FOX drew 60,000 viewers, despite its early morning billing. It is believed that the Sunday replay of the race received a boost in viewers owing to the NFL game that preceded it.

In contrast, NASCAR drew a 2.6 overnight rating, its highest of the year to date, while the much-billed MotoGP title showdown generated an average of 130,000 viewers on Sunday morning on Fox Sports 1, according to Racer.com

These are impressive figures for Formula E as the burgeoning series is just two races into its second season, particularly when competing with established motorsport categories, as well as one of the most intense and promoted title showdowns in recent MotoGP history.

Formula E returns to the US for the Long Beach ePrix on 2nd April 2016.
 
For more information on Formula E visit http://www.fiaformulae.com
 
... notes from The EDJE

 

 

 

TAGS: FIA, Formula E,  Putrajaya ePrix, YCM, Lucas DI GRASSI, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport, Sam BIRD, DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team, Robin FRIJNS, Andretti Formula E Race Team, Sébastien BUEMI, Renault e.Dams, The EDJE

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