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Buemi dodges another bullet to extend FE championship lead in Mexico

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Sebastien Buemi recovered from a mistake in qualifying and a frustrating race in Mexico on Saturday to extend his Formula E championship lead after Lucas di Grassi’s disqualification.

Buemi made an error in qualifying for the third race in a row, locking up in the second sector of his Super Pole lap to resign himself to fifth place on the grid for the start.

The Swiss driver worked his way up to third after the leaders had swapped their cars, but spent the remainder of the race getting frustrated behind Jerome d’Ambrosio.

The two drivers made contact and made their anger known over the radio, with d’Ambrosio eventually winning the race to the finish line for second place.

Despite initially losing the lead of the championship to race winner di Grassi, Buemi in fact extended his advantage when the Brazilian driver was disqualified for racing with an underweight car.

This promoted Buemi up into second place behind d’Ambrosio, leaving his advantage over the chasing pack at 22 points ahead of the Long Beach ePrix in three weeks’ time.

“Whilst I don’t think we got the set-up quite right at this track, the final result has worked in our favor,” Buemi said.

“The track layout made it very difficult to overtake and, obviously, I had some issues when fighting with Jerome but, this is racing and sometimes it’s frustrating!

“But overall, I am pleased that we have maintained the lead in the championship.”

Renault e.dams senior team manager Jean-Paul Driot confirmed that Buemi had suffered a braking issue in qualifying, but was pleased with the team result as Nicolas Prost finished third overall.

“It seems that a small braking issue cost us the win today, which we will have to look into, but both Sebastien and Nico fought very hard during the race,” Driot said.

“But second and third, plus a fastest lap for Nico, means we have cemented our position as championship leaders.

“We will analyze the issues we had and improve to be more motivated than ever for Long Beach.”

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.