Frede Rasmussen (DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT) took a hat-trick of pole position, fastest lap and the race win in the double-points Grand Final in Rome to seal the Formula E: Accelerate Drivers' Championship, by 12 points ahead of longstanding leader Erhan Jajovski (ROKiT Venturi Racing). The Dane gets his hands on the €20,000 top prize and a drive in a real Gen2 Formula E car.
Rasmussen, a relative newcomer to rFactor 2, was peerless in race trim as he headed home Red Bull Racing Esports stablemate Graham Carroll (Envision Virgin Racing) and F1 Esports Champion Jarno Opmeer (Mercedes-EQ) - this after throwing the gauntlet down by sealing pole in qualifying by more than three tenths of-a-second.
Rasmussen led lights-to-flag whilst Jajovski tried his utmost to mount a comeback. At the midway point of the race the DRAGON racer set the fastest lap which gave him the points he needed to pip the North Macedonian with Jajovski toppled from the standings lead for the first time in the entire six-race series.
Whilst trying to return the favour and steal back points as he slipped down the order, Jajovski slipped up under braking and clouted the wall. This damaged his car and left the Venturi driver down in fifth which ensured Rasmussen would wrap up the title.
As it happened...
Rasmussen threw down the gauntlet in qualifying with a 1m29.462s – a huge chunk ahead of both Jajovski in second and Siggy third, who were 0.3 and 0.5 seconds back, respectively. The Group Qualifying shakeup left Jajovski third and Siggy down in fifth. If the race finished as it started, Rasmussen and Jajovski would be tied on points, making the two points for fastest lap more valuable than ever.
Carroll bolted away from the line to force polesitter Rasmussen onto the defensive into Turn 1. He looked like he had the Dane scrambling but the Dane held on to his lead with Jajovski second and Opmeer third.
At the end of Lap 4, Siggy was able to make the most of his ATTACK MODE power boost to pinch fourth from Opmeer. The pair had been jousting earlier and again traded paint - nothing doing according to the stewards. The Slovenian knew he had to take every chance he could get to make progress if he was to stay in the title fight, and was the fastest man on track as he set about chasing Jajovski in third.
Rasmussen, meanwhile, led through that first batch of ATTACK MODE activations, and heading over the half way point of the race, he set the fastest lap in all that clear air out-front. As it stood, that would be enough for the Dane to pip Jajovski to the Drivers’ crown.
On Lap 8, Jajovski realised he had to pull something out of the bag with Rasmussen ahead in the standings for the very first time. The Venturi man set about pinching back that fastest lap accolade and the two points that come with it, but was greedy with the kerbs which spat his car into the wall.
The hit damaged Jajovski’s Venturi, and he was powerless to prevent Opmeer making his move for a provisional spot on the podium over the jump on the run down the hill. Jajovski’s damage was proving a real penalty, and Siggy was next to profit with a pass all the way around the outside of the Venturi for fourth spot.
Out front, meanwhile, Rasmussen and Red Bull Racing Esports stablemate Carroll were running in formation, eight seconds clear of Opmeer in third. Barring a completely uncharacteristic unforced error, Rasmussen had done enough.
Duly, Rasmussen crossed the line where he'd started the race - in top spot. That, and the points for setting the fastest lap - some 0.8 seconds quicker than anyone else's best - saw Rasmussen crowned Formula E: Accelerate Champion, and the winner of the €20,000 top prize and a drive in a real Gen2 Formula E car.
Carroll produced a series-best performance with second and likewise for Opmeer in third. Siggy wound up a battling fourth on-track whilst Jajovski limped home in fifth spot. A post-race penalty for contact on Lap 1, however saw Siggy penalised by the addition of 10 seconds to his race time, demoting him to a net 12th.
That result for Jajovski, on top of Edo Mortara's Driver Challenge victory earlier on was enough to help Venturi beat DRAGON to top spot in the Teams' Championship.
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