Audi Sport

Abt disqualified after Hong Kong Formula E win, Rosenqvist takes victory

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Daniel Abt’s joy after claiming his first Formula E victory in Hong Kong on Sunday was short-lived after the FIA stewards disqualified him in the hours following the race over a powertrain infringement.

Abt capitalized on a late error by Edoardo Mortara to snatch the lead of the race with three laps to go, holding on to seemingly secure his maiden win in the category on his 25th birthday.

The Audi team’s spirited celebrations were doused around three hours after the race finished when the FIA stewards confirmed Abt’s car had not complied with the technical regulations.

As per the FIA statement: “The FIA security stickers (barcodes) on the inverter and MGU units did not correspond with those declared on the Technical Passport provided by the competitor Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler for the event.”

As a result, Abt was disqualified, making pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist the race winner for Mahindra.

Rosenqvist had taken his fourth Formula E pole position earlier in the day, but appeared to throw away his chance to win after spinning at Turn 1 when the race went green on Lap 2 following a safety car start.

Rosenqvist dropped to 11th, but was able to fight his way back up the order through the race, taking P2 late on following Mortara’s spin.

Mortara had himself taken the lead from Rosenqvist after the Swede’s Turn 1 error, and dominated proceedings throughout, running around three seconds clear of Abt heading into the closing stages.

A regen error caused Mortara to lock his rear brakes and spin his Venturi car at Turn 2 on Lap 43 of 45, spurning hopes of a maiden victory for the Monegasque team. His promotion to P2 after Abt’s disqualification does however mean he has matched its best-ever result in just two appearances.

Jaguar Racing was left to belatedly celebrate its maiden Formula E podium after Mitch Evans finished fourth on-track, rising to P3 in the final classification ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and Sam Bird.

Oliver Turvey is now classified sixth for NIO, with Maro Engel and Nicolas Prost following in P8 and P9. Season two champion Sebastien Buemi also gets off the mark for the season with one point for P10.

Could Scott Dixon someday break Foyt, Andretti wins and championships records?

IndyCar
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With five races left in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon is in the driver’s seat to potentially earn a fifth career IndyCar championship.

After winning Sunday at Toronto, Dixon now has a 62-point edge over second-ranked and defending series champ Josef Newgarden and a 70-point lead over third-ranked Alexander Rossi.

The triumph north of the border was Dixon’s third there, as well as his 44th career IndyCar win, third-highest in IndyCar annals.

Add in the four IndyCar championships and those are stellar numbers indeed.

What makes things all the more amazing is Dixon has done all that in under 18 full seasons on the IndyCar circuit. Heck, he’s only 37 years old, too (although he turns 38 on July 22).

Dixon’s championships have come in 2003 (his first full season in IndyCar after two prior seasons in CART/Champ Car), 2008, 2013 and most recently in 2015.

The quiet, unassuming New Zealander has been one of the most successful drivers ever not just in IndyCar, but in all forms of motorsports.

When his name is mentioned, it’s typically included with the only two drivers who have more career wins than he does: A.J. Foyt (67 wins and seven championships, both records) and Mario Andretti (52 wins and four titles).

That’s a pretty lofty pair to be part of.

One might think that after all the success he’s had, Dixon could easily walk away from IndyCar and Chip Ganassi Racing and enjoy an early retirement.

But competing in and winning races isn’t really a job for Dixon. He enjoys what he’s doing so much that he easily could keep doing what he’s doing – and at a high level – for another seven or more years, at least.

So, can Dixon catch Mario and A.J.? The former would be easier than the latter, for sure.

Numerically, it’s possible – at least part of it:

* Dixon can easily be competitive into his mid-40s.

* He’s averaged three-plus wins every season since 2007 (37 wins from then through Sunday). That means if he can keep that average going, he could reach 24 more wins – to overtake Foyt – by 2026. Yes, that may be a stretch to even imagine, but if there’s any current driver who potentially could overtake Foyt, it’s Dixon.

* Dixon already has three wins this season, and with five more races still to go, he could easily win another one, two or maybe even three more in 2018 as he continues his road to the championship. And let’s not forget that with each additional win, that’s one win closer to overtaking Andretti and Foyt.

In his usual modest and humble manner, Dixon downplays not just talk comparing him with Andretti and Foyt, but also overtaking one or both.

“I think A.J. is pretty safe,” he said. “He’s a long ways ahead. … Eight (championships) is an infinity away. Takes a long time to get eight.”

But that doesn’t mean Dixon can’t keep working at approaching Foyt’s mark.

“I think for us, we take it race by race,” he said. “We’re in the business of winning races. If we’re not doing that, I won’t have a job for too long. That’s the focus for right now.”

If he wins the championship this year, he’ll pass Andretti’s championship mark. That would be one record down, three to go.

And if he can win nine more races over the next few seasons, he’ll pass Andretti’s 52 career wins, making it two records down and two more to go.

“Right now with 44 wins, next on the list is Mario I think at 52 or something,” Dixon said after Sunday’s win. “We’ll see how it goes. Right now, we’re just trying to get the job done for the team.”

And he’s doing a darn good job at that indeed – with likely even more success still to come.

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