The Art of Racing in Berlin with Powell & Eaton
It was a double-header Sunday for the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy at Tempelhof: Alice Powell had more bad luck when her car stopped one corner to the finish line, while Abbie Eaton had two solid races despite joining the field mid-way through the race meeting.
It was Simon Evans' day, as he claimed victory in both Sunday's races in Berlin. Round 6 and 7 for the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy season were all or nothing for the Kiwi, as he had to hold on to his championship ambitions.
Championship leader Sergio Jimenez started from pole position - his biggest opponent begin Evans in P4 on the grid. Following a three-place grid penalty - given for the incident in Saturday's race with Foster - Alice Powell went into the race from the sixth grid slot, just ahead of guest driver and series returnee Abbie Eaton.
Jimenez led from the start and sprinted ahead of Nick Foster and Caca Bueno. Powell lost two places at the start and dropped back to P8, while Eaton managed to pass a couple of drivers for a good fifth place, as everyone went into the first corner.
Jimenez held Evans behind him for a long time, while there were several position changes happening at the back of the field. Eaton defended hard against a battling Gregory Segers until the Frenchman found a way past her.
With Attack Mode, there was again much action and drama in the field. Powell and Eaton ran in sixth and seventh position with 10 minutes left on the clock, as a drive-through penalty was given to Segers for a jump start which promoted both to P5 and P6.
At the front, things heated up as Evans tried to catch up with Jimenez. A wild Attack Mode gamble played in Evans' favour, who won with a 0,139 seconds advantage from Jimenez and Bueno.
Alice Powell secured her fifth place right ahead of Abbie Eaton.
Race 2 was a reversed grid race - the first such experiment for the Formula E support series - which meant that Paul Spooner started from pole position. Abbie Eaton went into the race from position 5, Alice Powell just behind in P7. Both the championship contenders Evans and Jimenez found themselves in P10 and P11 respectively.
It was a close and entertaining race with many changing positions and different Attack Mode strategies. Evans and Jimenez worked their way from the back to the front of the grid very quickly.
But it was the final lap that changed everything: Evans used his Attack Mode, passed Jimenez as he activated the power boost as well as a consequence, but it was too late and Evans won the second race of the day as well. Simon Evans is now just 9 points behind Sergio Jimenez in the championship rankings.
Again, it was an unfortunate end of the race for Alice Powell: her name dropped back on the TV graphics, going from fifth to tenth position, before cameras picked up her stranded Ran-Racing Jaguar. Only Nick Foster, who was back in the pits earlier in the competition, finished behind the Brit in the final classify.
As she explained via social media, Powell's car suffered a diffuser damage that compromised the battery's cooling system.
Meanwhile, Abbie Eaton completed the race in a positive 6th place again.
Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th August will see the last two rounds of the 2019/2020 season Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy season - and the last races of the series itself, which will sadly not compete next season again.
Who will be the second and last series champion? Jimenez or Evans - the fight is on!