Bryan Sellers says that missing out on a chance to fight for the inaugural Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY championship has been “gutting from top to bottom” following a rare accident from the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver in qualifying for the title-deciding weekend in New York City
Sellers was forced to sit out Saturday’s penultimate round of the season following a wheel bearing issue detected on his Jaguar I-PACE just moments before the pre-grid.
It came after a comprehensive rebuild to the all-electric SUV racer due to a crash in qualifying earlier in the day that had put the American on the back foot.
A nearly three-hour long rebuild, which saw all of the manufacturer’s team-allocated mechanics from the arrive-and-drive series jump into action, saw the car repaired but only for a faulty new wheel bearing to deny Sellers a chance to start the race.
“The car was actually all the way back together and ready to go,” Sellers told e-racing365.
“They put it up in the air just to do one final check of everything and when they went to do their final check, they discovered the wheel bearing was loose.
“It’s gutting from top to bottom. All the guys come up to you afterwards and say how sorry they are that they couldn’t get the car turned around.
“We all know that’s not the reality. The reality is that if I hadn’t put them in that position, we would’t be there anyway.
“When I look at the job all these guys did, it was pretty impressive. Considering the car was on the ground ready to go and if it was not for a bad part we would have been OK.”
Saturday’s race saw Sergio Jimenez clinch the drivers’ championship one race early after entering the weekend with only a six-point lead to Sellers.
“For me the worst thing in the world is having to look yourself in the mirror and hold your hand up and understand it was your fault at your home race with your home team and with all of the Jaguar people here… it’s not what I wanted,” Sellers said.
“Its OK to lose but you hate to lose it this way. I would have really liked to go head-to-head with Sergio and take it down to the end.”
While having dropped to third in the standings, Sellers said he’s motivated to fight back in tomorrow’s season finale, with only five points separating he and Caca Bueno.
The first-ever I-PACE eTROPHY double-header kicks off with a new round of qualifying on Sunday morning.
“Tomorrow is a new day,” Sellers said. “I think Katherine [Legge, teammate] had a good qualifying this morning that shows we have potential in the cars. Now tomorrow we’ll try and execute and see if we can salvage something from this.
“These races are battles and tomorrow will be the same. We’ll reload and go again.”