History was made on two very significant fronts Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
First, New Zealand driver Simon Evans won the inaugural Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race in Ad Diriyah.
Secondly, Alice Powell, Katherine Legge and Celia Martin became the first women not only to ever race in Saudi Arabia, it also marked the first time women and men have competed together in the country.
Evans started from the pole after qualifying was cancelled due to heavy rain. The starting grid was based on the outcome of Friday’s practice session.
Evans dominated the race, leading 23 of the 25 scheduled minutes, plus one final lap for the checkered flag.
“It feels amazing to win the race from pole to flag, it’s very special,” Evans said. “It wasn’t an easy race, and it just shows from the practice times and the race itself, the pack is incredibly close.
“The very first win is the one everyone wants and hopefully we can continue the momentum to the next race in Mexico.”
Brazilian driver Sergio Jimenez finished second, followed by American Bryan Sellers.
Powell not only won the PRO-AM category, she also finished fifth overall, the highest-finishing of the three women in the race.
“The pace was there for me in the first half of the race which is fantastic,” Powell said. “In some ways I didn’t expect it, given our times in practice.
“I knew I had to make my way up in the first four laps, so in the first couple I made my moves and from then on, the car was fantastic. It’s been great to race in Saudi Arabia and hopefully it will inspire some more women to get racing – a big thank you to Jaguar for the opportunity.”
Also of note, Legge, who finished sixth, set the fastest lap of the race at 1:32.36. Teammates Sellers and Legge gave Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing two finishers in the top-six, the most of any team entered in the race.
The final results are:
|1||Simon Evans||NZL||Team Asia New Zealand||PRO|
|2||Sergio Jimenez||BRA||Jaguar Brazil Racing||PRO|
|3||Bryan Sellers||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||PRO|
|4||Cacá Bueno||BRA||Jaguar Brazil Racing||PRO|
|5||Alice Powell||GBR||Jaguar VIP Car||PRO AM|
|6||Katherine Legge||GBR||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||PRO|
|7||Bandar Alesayi||SAU||Saudi Racing||PRO AM|
|8||Ahmed Bin-Khanen||SAU||Saudi Racing||PRO AM|
|9||Tao Wang||CHN||Team China||PRO AM|
|10||Yaqi Zhang||CHN||Team China||PRO AM|
|11||Célia Martin||FRA||Viessman Jaguar eTROPHY Team Germany||PRO AM|
|12||Stefan Rzadzinski||CAN||TWR TECHEETAH||PRO|
The next round of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY takes place in Mexico City on 16 February 2019.