His team-mate André Lotterer claimed tenth place in the second virtual Porsche 99X Electric. In the “Challenge Grid” race for sim racers and influencers, which takes place separately, Joshua Rogers secured third place, celebrating a podium finish in his third appearance of the season for Porsche.
FINISH! 🏁 @neeljani goes unrewarded for his great fight for a podium and ends up in fifth place. Andre Lotterer finishes 10th.#RaceAtHome #RacingNeverStops #TAGHeuerPorsche #PorscheFormulaE @FIAFormulaE pic.twitter.com/kKTLao6ZFl— TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team (@PorscheFormulaE) May 30, 2020
The main race
The virtual race in New York’s Brooklyn neighbourhood provided plenty of Formula E action. After a strong performance in qualifying, Jani started the race from third place and moved up one position on the first turn. He was on course for a podium finish for some time before a tumultuous final phase. The Swiss driver lost two places on the 11th lap and, after he spun in the final lap, he had to let another competitor pass. Jani then crossed the line in fifth place. Lotterer also made a good start from tenth, moving up one position. However, he slipped back again as the race progressed, finishing in tenth place. These results saw Jani (10) and Lotterer (1) score a total of 11 points for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. The grand finale of the “Race at Home Challenge”, featuring two competitive races, is scheduled to take place next weekend. Double points will be up for grabs in both of these final races. On Saturday, the race will be held on the virtual track in New York while the Grand Final will take place in Berlin-Tempelhof on Sunday.
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18) – 5th place
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36) – 10th place
The “Challenge Grid” race
Joshua Rogers continues to be a reliable source of top results for Porsche among the sim racers. Having already chalked up one win and a second place, the Australian driver rounded off his third appearance of the season with third place. The reigning champion in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup had started from ninth on the grid. He was able to avoid some early collisions during the race and move up by four positions. Further overtaking manoeuvres saw Rogers move past Peyo Peev (BG) and Cem Bolukbasi (TK) to secure third place. Dutch driver Arjan Veltens marked his second appearance in the Porsche 99X Electric by finishing eighth.
Joshua Rogers (Porsche 99X Electric, #18) – 3rd place
Arjan Veltens (Porsche 99X Electric, #36) – 8th place
Quotes on the race:
Marco Ujhasi (Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport): “We saw some thrilling battles at the sixth round of the ‘Race at Home Challenge’ today. Neel and André were both in the points again on the new virtual circuit in New York. Neel was doing pretty well after recording the third-fastest lap time in qualifying, but was not quite able to convert this into the same race result, finishing fifth. Qualifying did not go quite so well for André, but he finished tenth to score another point. Josh put on a great chasing performance in the ‘Challenge Grid’ race and moved up six places. He was rewarded for this with a spot on the podium. It is great that Formula E managed to secure another new race location for the virtual Formula E series with this circuit in New York. We are looking forward to next weekend with New York and Berlin as the venues for the Grand Finale.”
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “I am very happy with qualifying and I had a good start to the race. Things were then very tight in turn one. I got wedged in but I still managed to move up to second. I then just concentrated on my race where I showed a good pace. It was a tough battle for the podium. Unfortunately, I spun on the final lap and dropped down to fifth place. That was a shame, as I hadn’t been so close to a podium finish before that. Nonetheless, we scored some valuable points and overall we are confident heading into the final weekend of the season.”
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “Qualifying did not go so well, although the lap times in practice actually weren't bad. Once the race started, the going got tough on the first lap. However, I did get through that alright. There was some damage to my car in a battle with Oliver Turvey. In the end, I finished tenth. We could have done better but at least I had a thrilling battle with Oliver.”
Joshua Rogers (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “That was an exciting race in New York. I found qualifying difficult. I made a few errors, which meant that I started the race in ninth place. The start went well though. Some drivers took the inside line on turn 1. I went outside and was able to move up a few places – because there were some collisions. I was already up to fifth after turn 2, and continued to move up. I had a nice battle with Cem Bolukbasi and managed to get past in the end. Improving from ninth to third - that’s a great result. Once again, it was great fun for me to be involved for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.”
About the “Race at Home Challenge”
Until the grand finale on 7th June, virtual races will be held on a weekly basis, as a replacement for the standard races in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020, which have been postponed due to the current crisis. Each live broadcast gets underway at 16:30 CEST. The series sees all drivers in the regular championship do battle for virtual points in racing simulators. The races are held on the realistic rFactor2 simulation platform. Sim racers and influencers also go head to head in separate races to the Formula E drivers. With the “Race at Home Challenge”, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is supporting the child welfare organisation UNICEF, which will be receiving donations raised during the race events.