Mahindra Racing has set a new benchmark for an electric open-wheel car at the historic Goodwood hillclimb in England after taking part in the final Festival of Speed shootout on Sunday.
Mahindra confirmed last week that it would give its season four Formula E car, the M4Electro, its public debut at Goodwood, some five months ahead of its first race appearance.
Ex-Formula 1 driver and overall Goodwood hillclimb record-holder Nick Heidfeld took the M4Electro to the finish in 48.59 seconds, putting him fifth overall in the final running order. The fastest time of the day was set by Justin Law in a Jaguar XJR12D, who completed the hillclimb in 46.13 seconds.
While Heidfeld may have failed to finish at the top of the timesheets, his effort was still good enough to mark a new open-wheel electric record at Goodwood.
“It’s been an amazing weekend here once again in Goodwood. I’ve come to it many times and the mixture and volume of cars and people here is astonishing,” Heidfeld said.
“It was good fun to drive up the hill, with the target of setting a new electric single-seater record which we managed to do. But I think we have to come back to beat the outright electric record which we didn’t quite manage.
“What was also very positive is that next season’s powertrain, which we showed here for the first time, ran problem free even though we haven’t had many tests with it before, so all in all it was a very good weekend.”
Heidfeld and Mahindra will be back in race action in two weeks’ time at the New York City Formula E race.
Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.
“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”
The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.
Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.
Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.
He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.
Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.
Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.
Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.
Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.
The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.
Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.
Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.