ABT apologizes to di Grassi after DSQ for underweight car

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The ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team has apologized to driver Lucas di Grassi after he was disqualified from yesterday’s Mexico Ciity ePrix for having an underweight car.

Di Grassi kept his cool in a manic race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to cross the line and claim what was set to be his third Formula E victory, putting him back into the lead of the drivers’ championship.

However, a post-race check by the scrutineers found that his car was 1.8 kg under the 888 kg minimum weight, putting it in breach of the regulations.

The stewards swiftly disqualified him from the race, handing victory to Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio in a flurry of déjà vu from the Berlin ePrix almost a year ago.

The team had no explanation for why the car was underweight but decided not to appeal the decision, only issuing an apology to di Grassi.

“The car was weighed several times here in Mexico and exceeded the minimum weight every time. Because our team had not made any changes, we have no explanation for the measurement after the race,” team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt said.

“We will try to find out the reason for not making the minimum weight. At this moment we can only apologize to Lucas. He drove a great race and won convincingly by more than five seconds, but was robbed of his just reward.

“We will do everything possible to make amends for this mistake and get Lucas back into the thick of the title fight.”

Di Grassi’s qualification allowed Sebastien Buemi to extend his championship lead to 22 points despite only finishing third on track, having been embroiled in a battle with d’Ambrosio for much of the race.

The next Formula E race takes place in Long Beach, California on April 2.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.