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Olli Pahkala handed penalty, Bono Huis named new winner of Vegas eRace

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Bono Huis has been named as the winner of the inaugural FIA Formula E Vegas eRace after original victor Olli Pahkala was handed a post-race penalty for having a software issue on his computer.

The Vegas eRace pitted the 20-strong Formula E grid up against 10 of the world’s fastest sim racers in a battle for $1 million worth of prize money.

Faraday Future Dragon Racing driver Huis dominated proceedings throughout the eRace weekend, topping every practice and qualifying session heading into the race.

The Dutchman managed to soak up pressure from regular Formula E racer Felix Rosenqvist in the early part of the eRace before pitting with five laps to go from the lead.

Huis emerged from the pits nine seconds behind Pahkala, who had been running outside of the top five in the early part of the race.

However, a glitch in the software being used for the event meant that Pahkala’s FanBoost – intended to give him a power advantage for a brief period of time – lasted six laps.

This allowed the Finn to lap up to three seconds per lap faster than Huis, who is widely recognized as being one of the finest sim racers in the world.

After the race, Huis’ anger was evident after finishing second, and he initially refused to come out onto the podium to accept his trophy and a cheque for $100,000.

However, the stewards looked into the timings and opted to hand Pahkala a 12-second time penalty to negate the software issue, demoting him to third place.

As a result, Huis is the first Vegas eRace winner, while Rosenqvist claims second place, with the pair winning prizes of $200,000 and $100,000 respectively. Huis also claimed $25,000 for taking pole position earlier in the day.

“This first eRace in Las Vegas was a great success,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said following the race.

“It’s exciting to have brought Formula E into the inner sanctum of CES – the biggest and most influential technology show in the world. I think this can be the first in a big future for Formula E in eSports racing.

“We will continue to pursue new and innovative ways to improve our presence in this fast-growing landscape, while maintaining fan engagement at the forefront of all our initiatives.”

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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