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Simon Evans wins first-ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race in Saudi Arabia

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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:

Position Driver Nationality Team Classification
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.

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Will Power, Roger Penske collect Indy 500 trophies

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DETROIT (AP) Last year, Will Power finally broke through and won the Indianapolis 500, so he can cross that accomplishment off the list.

Now 37, Power is reaching an age when it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll keep at it.

“I’m really enjoying my racing. I’ve never been so motivated. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, mentally on the game,” Power said. “I think once you get to this part of your career, you realize that you’re not going to be doing this forever. So you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to go for it when you’ve got it, because, you know, probably only another five years at maximum, and you’re retired.”

Whenever Power’s career does wind down, his 2018 Indy 500 win will remain a moment to remember. He was in Detroit on Wednesday night with team owner Roger Penske for a ceremony in which they received their “Baby Borg” trophies for winning last year’s race. The Baby Borgs are replicas of the Borg-Warner Trophy that honors the Indy 500 winner.

Power finished second at Indy in 2015, and his victory last year made him the race’s first Australian winner. It was Penske’s 17th Indy 500 win as an owner, part of a banner year for him. Penske also won a NASCAR Cup title with driver Joey Logano.

“When you think about 2018, we had 32 race wins, 35 poles. I think we led almost 5,400 laps, with all the series,” Penske said.

On Wednesday, Penske collected another significant trophy, and he’ll be celebrated again in a couple weeks. He’s being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 1.

“It’s amazing that a guy from the north can get into the Hall of Fame in the south,” Penske joked. “No, it’s special. … NASCAR has helped us build our brand over the years, certainly, with the reputation it has, and the notoriety we get, being a NASCAR team owner.”

Penske’s most recent Indy 500 title came courtesy of Power, who long preferred road courses to ovals but certainly looked comfortable at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year.

“The 500 was one record that he didn’t have, and I think you saw the excitement he and his wife, and the whole team, when he was able to win the race,” Penske said. “He’s probably the best qualifier we’ve ever had, as a road racer, and no question his expertise. He didn’t like ovals to start with, but I think today, he loves racing on ovals.”

Power seems content with all aspects of his racing life at the moment. The aftermath of an Indy 500 victory can be a whirlwind, and it would be understandable for a driver to be weary of it eight months later, but for Power, it’s a new experience.

“I’ve been looking forward to this event for a few months now, to actually get the Baby Borg. You have the face on it – I didn’t realize that, you actually get your own face on it,” Power said. “It makes you realize the significance of the event, when you think about all the things that come with winning the 500.”

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Follow Noah Trister at http://www.Twitter.com/noahtrister