15 Nov 20
25 Apr 20
BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther claims the first points of the ABB Formula E Race from Home Challenge against the iconic backdrop of Hong Kong's Harbourfront.
Posting a 59.8-second lap in Qualifying, it was Mercedes-Benz EQ's Stoffel Vandoorne who claimed the Julius Baer Pole Position and led the way into the first point-scoring round of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of UNICEF.
Barging through Turn 1, Vandoorne maintained the lead with Mahindra Racing's Pascal Werhlein dropping back from second. Behind Vandoorne was Race at Home Challenge test race winner Max Guenther (BMW i Andretti Motorsport), who led Envision Virgin Racing's Nick Cassidy in third.
For DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa, a big spin going into Turn 3 during Qualifying saw the current real-world championship leader start the race at the back of the pack but made his way to 19th by the end of the first lap.
Taking the lead from Vandoorne, Guenther led the pack with Cassidy 1.2-seconds behind. After an error, Vandoorne dropped to fifth, losing the advantage he had after clinching Pole.
With damage increased to 80 per cent for round one, the close-combat nature of Formula E city street racing claimed Panasonic Jaguar Racing's James Calado, seeing him retire from the race after a collision just seven laps in.
Failing to climb above 19th, da Costa was eliminated by lap nine to join his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne (already retired after losing his connection) back in the pits. With four laps to go, only 16 drivers remained in the running.
Still in the lead, Guenther remained ahead of Cassidy in second and Wehrlein in third, coolly making his way around the 1.8km Hong Kong Harbourfront circuit. Despite winning here last season, ROKiT Venturi Racing's Edoardo Mortara failed to make it to the finish, being eliminated at the end of lap 14.
Out in front, Guenther crossed the finish line first with Cassidy in second and Wehrlein in third. Rounding off the points was Guenther's teammate Sims, who crossed the line in 10th, making it a double points finish for the BMW i Andretti Motorsport squad.
Now leading the Challenge, Guenther punched the air as he crossed the line. "It wasn't an easy race," said the German driver moments after the event. "Even though it's not the real world, we're all competitive and we want to be at the front," added the BMW driver with a smile.
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