Prost wins London ePrix opener as di Grassi edges out Buemi


LONDON, UK – Nicolas Prost dominated proceedings in the first leg of the London ePrix Formula E double-header on Saturday, leading every lap of the race to end his victory drought dating back to last year’s Miami ePrix.

After taking pole in a damp qualifying session at Battersea Park, Prost made light work of the competition early on before a safety car period wiped away his lead.

The Frenchman controlled the restart well, ensuring that Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna was kept at an arm’s length throughout before crossing the line five seconds clear of the pack.

The real talking point after the race was the battle between championship contenders Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi, who started 10th and 12th respectively after rain scuppered their qualifying efforts.

Both managed to pick their way through the pack, with di Grassi losing part of his front wing when trying to pass DS Virgin Racing’s Jean-Eric Vergne for position with eight laps to go.

The loose part soon broke away, allowing di Grassi to continue without incurring the wrath of the stewards, much to the chagrin of Buemi behind.

Heading into the final stages of the race, di Grassi and Buemi ran fourth and fifth respectively, only for Sam Bird to relegate Buemi to P6 with a late lunge.

However, Bird slowed coming out of the final corner on the last lap of the race, causing Buemi to hit him. The Swiss driver gesticulated angrily, but was able to take the position and ensure that di Grassi only finished one position ahead, having failed to take Vergne late on.

As a result, di Grassi enters tomorrow’s season finale with a three-point lead over Buemi, with 30 still up for grabs.

Daniel Abt and Robin Frijns had ran well up the order for most of the race, only to crash out when fighting for position after 20 laps, resulting in a safety car period.

NEXTEV TCR’s Oliver Turvey also looked set to score his first podium finish in Formula E before crashing with three laps remaining. Teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. finished down in P14, but did pick up two points for recording the fastest lap of the race.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”