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.”