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Sellers takes Hong Kong victory to top I-Pace championship standings

Bryan Sellers tops the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy standings with victory in Hong Kong as a mistake at the hairpin brought an end to Caca Bueno’s domination.

Bueno had been the man to beat all weekend, putting his Jaguar Brazil Racing run car on pole and leading in the first half of the race. But the touring car champion dropped back to sixth after a mistake at the hairpin first corner almost sent him up the escape road, and he was forced to reverse back onto the track.

The mistake gifted Sellers the lead and, besides a brief full course yellow period to clear Qi Lin’s stricken car, spent the rest of the race building a gap back to the rest of the field.

He finished 3.369s ahead of team-mate Katherine Legge, putting him four points clear at the top of the standings.

Legge had started fifth but moved up into the top three at the first corner. While those ahead moved into a single file queue to take the inside line at the hairpin, Legge swept around the outside to pass Simon Evans and Stefan Rzadzinski.

The move was replicated further back by Pro-Am driver Celia Martin, who came from 10th to the top of the class, though she was later pushed wide by Yaqi Zhang and span at the final corner. She finished ninth overall and third in class.

After a problem in qualifying meant he couldn’t set a lap, Sergio Jimenez started from the back of the grid. The Brazilian put in a stunning performance in the opening laps to storm up through the order, and was soon at the back of the leading pack.

Team-mate Bueno put up a tough fight, but Jimenez eventually managed to find a way through. He and Bueno were both on the tail of third-placed Simon Evans on the final lap. Jimenez forced a way through at the final corner, sending Evans into the wall and damaging the rear suspension of his I-Pace.

He took the chequered flag third, with Evans classified fourth and Bueno completing the top five.

Guest driver Darryl O’Young took sixth ahead of Pro-Am leader Zhang. After taking the class lead, Zhang closed onto the back of the Pro class battle and finished less than half a second behind OYoung.

Bandar Alesayi, second in the Pro-Am class, finished a further 45 seconds behind.

Ahmed Bin-Khanen came into the pits to retire on lap 11 of 19 while Rzadzinkski could only manage five laps in the Techeetah backed entry before having to retire with damage.

 

Image courtesy of Jaguar Racing

Bethonie Waring

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