Celia Martin lights up Jaguar i-pace race in Berlin
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Martin takes 4th consecutive Pro-Am class podium, while Katherine Legge has to settle for sixth.
Under a cloudy Berlin sky, the eight round of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy once again gave us an exciting race, supporting ABB Formula E in Germany.
Team Jaguar Brazil Racing again locked the front row in qualifying, with Caca Bueno and Sergio Jimenez conquering the leading positions earlier in qualifying.
Celia Martin, after a remarkable qualifying effort started 7th, right in front of Pro class contender Katherine Legge.
While the positions remained unaltered at the start, the race became suddenly alive when British veteran Adam Carroll (replacing Rzadzinski at TWR) passed Sellers for fourth and almost simultaneously Katherine Legge lunged at the inside of Celia Martin, hitting and spinning Bandar Alesayi in front. The Saudi leader of the Pro-Am class unintentionally blocked his teammate Bin Khanen, before ultimately retiring from the race with a broken rear suspension.
Legge was able to rejoin in 6th, with Martin avoiding contact and grabbing Pro-Am lead in 7th.
Carroll, making his debut on the Jaguar I-Pace, was passed again by championship contender Sellers after a drifting-like stunt at turn one.
From this moment on, the race was defined by the fierce and exciting battle for seventh place (and first for Pro-Am class) between Celia Martin and Chinese Yaqi Zhang, with the two not sparing themselves late moves and some light contacts.
The French lady defended like a seasoned driver for more then 10 laps and managed to keep the lead from Zhang's continuous attacks, until he dived on the inside of turn one with six minutes to go and grabbed P7. Martin was then immediately under pressure from the other Chinese driver, Ziyi Zhang, who tried to force his way through by hitting Martin but ultimately unsuccessfully.
Bin Khanen tried to take advantage from the intense battles in front but was spun around in a contact with Ziyi Zhang and the Full Course Yellow was consequently deployed for debris.
At the green flag, the fight for the overall lead was lighted up, with teammates Caca Bueno and Sergio Jimenez ultimately maintaining positions and crossing the line in another 1-2 after Monaco. Evans took 3rd, with Sellers 4th. Katherine Legge had to settle for 6th in a relatively lonely race.
Celia Martin, undisputed star of the Pro-Am race, took home second place and the 4th consecutive class podium finish, this time very close to the top step of the rostrum.
"I defended against everybody, that was the race of my life, for sure. I tried to keep the first position for as long as I could, but Zhang surprised me at the first corner and there was nothing I could do, but what a race!" - said the young Frenchwoman.
With two races to go, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy will now skip the Swiss Formula E round in Bern and will head directly to New York for a doubleheader.
Sergio Jimenez took the lead of the standings with 107 points as Sellers was demoted to second on 101. Katherine Legge sits 5th at 67, with realistically very few title chances.
“At this moment I’m honestly not thinking about the points at all. I think the bigger focus should be on executing on the race weekends that we have left. I feel like we need to do our jobs as a program and deliver the best results we possibly can and see where that leads us.” commented Legge.
In the Pro-Am class, Celia Martin sits 4th in the points table at 69pts, 16 points behind Bin Khanen.
In Celias's words:
“That was the race of my life, for sure.”
Ph credits: Jaguar Racing media