Jani’s team-mate André Lotterer (DE) gave a strong performance in qualifying to secure third place on the grid. He had a good start in the virtual #36 Porsche 99X Electric, moving into second place. However, Lotterer made an error in the tight chicane at the end of the start-finish straight on lap three. He spun around and fell back to 19th place. The Porsche works driver finished the race in 17th position.
The event for Formula E drivers was preceded by the “Challenger Grid” race. This primarily featured experienced sim racers and Simona De Silvestro (CH) was representing the Porsche brand. The test and development driver for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team gave a strong performance on her maiden appearance in the “Race at Home Challenge”. Starting from 22nd on the grid, she moved up ten places during the race and crossed the finish line in twelfth.
The “Race at Home Challenge” was launched as a replacement for the standard ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 season races that have been postponed due to the current crisis. All the Formula E teams and a selection of top Esports drivers are taking part in two separate starting fields. The drivers participate in the virtual races in their race simulators at home.
The events follow the traditional Formula E scoring system, with bonus points for pole position and the fastest race lap. Double points will be awarded in the final race. The next race will take place on 9 May. All further races until the grand finale on 7 June will be on a weekly basis. Each live broadcast gets underway at 16:30 CEST. The “Race at Home Challenge” is part of the partnership between the FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 and the child welfare organisation UNICEF, which will be receiving the donations raised during the race events.
Quotes from the race:
Marco Ujhasi (Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport): “What a thrilling second race in the ‘Race at Home Challenge’! There are a lot of positives to take from it - especially our first points. Starting from eleventh, Neel was able to show his full potential in the race as he battled his way to an excellent fourth place with an error-free drive. André did a superb job in qualifying and the third-best time was the maximum he could have hoped for. He then took a big risk after the second lap but fell back after a driving error on turn one. Unfortunately, that prevented him from recording a top result. Simona also put on a great performance in the competitive Challenge Grid category, making up ten places in the event for professional sim racers.”
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “I am very pleased with the fourth place and those first points in the second race of the ‘Race at Home Challenge’. I started well from eleventh position and was able to move up a few places. My pace was promising after that and I concentrated on producing an error-free race. Qualifying was not ideal. The lap could have been better. I will concentrate on qualifying in particular for the next race.”
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “Qualifying went really well. I was pleased with the third-fastest time. I started the race well and moved up to second place. Unfortunately, I then made a mistake on turn one and fell back a long way. It’s a shame as a podium finish would have been possible. E-racing can be just as tough as real racing but we still gave a good performance and we are on the right track.”
Simona De Silvestro (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “My first virtual Formula E race in the ‘Race at Home Challenge’ was a lot of fun. Qualifying was not perfect but I was able to find my rhythm in the race. I got through turn one cleanly after the start and I was able to move up a few places as the race progressed. All in all, I am pleased with twelfth place when you consider the strength of the sim competition in the Challenge Grid category. I will continue to prepare intensively for the next round.”