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I-PACE eTROPHY

Jimenez Holds Off Evans to Win Diriyah Race Two

2018-19 champion Sergio Jimenez kick-starts his title defense with victory in Diriyah…

Photo: Jaguar

Sergio Jimenez fended off Simon Evans and Alice Powell to win the second round of the 2019-20 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY season at the Diriyah street circuit.

Jimenez, the defending series champion, made a perfect getaway from pole and led the rest of the way but always had Race 1 winner Evans and Powell for company.

The Brazilian driver’s early lead was pegged back midway through the 25-minute contest when a collision between Mario Haberfeld and Fahad Algosaibi resulted in a Safety Car.

Evans then pressurized Jimenez in the 10 minutes of green flag running at the restart, but the New Zealander ultimately came up 0.830 seconds short at the finish.

Powell, who was originally challenging Jimenez before the three leaders took their second and final Attack Mode power boosts, came through to complete the podium six seconds down.

The British driver lost time on the final lap because her Attack Mode didn’t activate when she drove over the transponder strips on the outside of Turn 19.

Powell started third on the grid but dropped to fourth on the opening tour when Yaqi Zhang muscled past, but she re-took the Chinese driver shortly after.

Zhang ultimately finished sixth after taking Attack Mode right at the end of the race, which allowed Abbie Eaton and Mario Haberfeld to get past.

Haberfeld, however, is currently under investigation for his role in the contact with Algosaibi which produced the only Safety Car of the season-opening I-PACE weekend.

The German driver was using his Attack Mode to get past Algosaibi, whose firm defense of the position resulted in contact between the two cars heading into Turn 1.

Haberfeld managed to continue but Algosaibi was punted off into the barriers and was forced to retire on the spot.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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