ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020, round four of the “Race at Home Challenge”
A mass pile-up caused chaos in the starting phase of the fourth race of the “ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge” in Hong Kong. It robbed the two TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team drivers of the chance to score points. André Lotterer (DE) and Neel Jani (CH) had to be content with 15th and 16th places on the virtual circuit in Hong Kong (HK). Joshua Rogers (AU) gave another strong performance at the wheel of the digital Porsche 99X Electric in the event for sim racers and influencers. The reigning Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion had already secured pole position in qualifying. He then concluded his second race appearance of the season by crossing the line in second place.
The main race
After starting from tenth and 17th on the grid and chaotic scenes at turn one, some fine manoeuvres saw the two Porsche drivers improve by several places, only to find themselves propping up the field after a series of not-at-fault collisions. The two Porsche works drivers then performed at a good pace in their Porsche 99X Electric and displayed great fighting spirit as they both moved up eight positions. Lotterer finished 15th, with Jani just one place behind. Jani remains fifth in the drivers’ standings with 24 points, while Lotterer is 14th with six points.
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18) – 16th place
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36) – 15th place
The “Challenge Grid” race
The digital Formula E circuit in Hong Kong once again proved to be a fruitful soil for Joshua Rogers. Three weeks ago, Rogers recoded his maiden win in the event for sim racers and influencers on the same circuit. Now he finished second to secure another spot on the podium. The Australian driver had missed the races on the last two weekends. But he returned to secure pole position on a wet surface. In the race. Rogers made a series of defensive moves to hold his lead against challenger Lucas Müller (DE). He did, however, have to let the German driver overtake him on the penultimate lap. Rogers scored 20 points for his pole position and second place. He is now fifth in the drivers’ standings after competing in two out of four races. Marius Golombeck (DE), the second driver in a virtual Porsche 99X Electric, reached 15th place.
Marius Golombeck (Porsche 99X Electric, #18) – 15th place
Joshua Rogers (Porsche 99X Electric, #36) – 2nd place
Quotes on the race:
Marco Ujhasi (Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport): “It is no exaggeration to say that it was a tumultuous race. It was the first time that qualifying for the ‘Race at Home Challenge’ took place on a wet surface. That was a challenge for all the drivers. Neel and André started from midfield. Right at the start of the race, they were involved in some incidents on turn one that pushed them back down through the field. Josh Rogers did another great job on his second appearance in the event for sim racers. However, he made a small error after securing pole position and a very good starting phase. Nonetheless, second place is a very good result.”
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “Points were a possibility again today. Sadly, that didn’t work out. Qualifying was difficult. Tenth place is alright in these conditions. The start did not go according to plan. However, someone hit me on the way out of turn one. Now I am concentrating on the race coming up next Saturday.”
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “Despite the difficult conditions, I had a good feeling in qualifying so I have to carefully examine where I lost some time. After the start, it was all chaotic on turn one. There wasn’t much I could do and I fell back to last place. At least I could still drive the car. That meant I could battle back and improve by a few places.”
Joshua Rogers (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “I only just missed out on a second race win. Pole position in qualifying was great, of course, but the wet conditions surprised everyone. I started the race well and I got through turn one without any problems. I was then able to build up a lead but I made a little mistake in the chicane. That caused some damage to the car and I couldn’t stop Lucas Müller from getting past towards the end of the race. I am happy nonetheless. The performance level is there. It was fantastic to be driving for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team again. I am already looking forward to my next appearance in the ‘Race at Home Challenge’.”
Edited Porsche factory press release.
Pictures courtesy Porsche AG