FE: Gunther takes consecutive win at Race At Home Challenge Round 2

Round 2 of the Formula E Stay at Home Challenge took place at the all-new (fantasy) in-game circuit, Electric Docks, and featured crashes, battles for positions and more.

Maximilian Gunther, in the BMW i Andretti Motorsport, took the win at the first round in Hong Kong ahead of Envision Virgin Racing’s Nick Cassidy. It also saw a few tactical moves and battles for positions through.

For this weekend, the full 24 drivers of ABB Formula E competed at the Race At Home Challenge, with Sam Bird now having joined to complete the line-up (replacing Nick Cassidy).

A reminder of the basics for the Race At Home Challenge:

  • In-game damage set to 80%
  • Sam Bird of Envision Virgin Racing joining to complete the full 24-car-grid of real-life FE drivers.
  • Race Royale/Elimination-Style – 12 drivers are left to get to the checkered flag
  • Championship points (awarded like in the real championship – top 10 awarded points & one point offered for fastest lap in the race and one for pole position during qualifying)

Round 2 played host to an all-new circuit for Formula E in rFactor 2: Electric Docks is a 18-turn circuit full of fast, flat-out sweeping corners and littered with a couple of tight chicanes – all in a dockland-like environment.

Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-Benz EQ) topped the practice session times, over three-and-a-half tenths ahead of Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing) and Oliver Rowland (Nissan e.Dams).

The Group Qualifying sessions took place, where the drivers in their current positions in the championship would be split into the four groups as the FE qualifying sessions would be in the real championship (expect drivers will go for an out-lap, flying lap, and in-lap only).

Stoffel Vandoorne from Group 1 qualifying took his second consecutive pole position with a time of 1:22.503 ahead of Max Gunther and Andre Lotterer.

De Vries, D’Ambrosio, Da Costa and Vergne all crashed during their qualifying runs.

Image Credit: © ABB Formula E

As we went green for the race, Stoffel Vandoorne led before contact with the wall within the opening seconds of the race.

He was left to face the remainder of the race with significant damage, leaving Max Guenther to take the lead off Vandoorne. Pascal Wehrlein was in second place ahead of Vandoorne.

Vandoorne himself dropped down the order as he did his best to hold on, fighting the damage he caught up. Robin Frijns of Envision Virgin Racing took P3, followed by GEOX Dragon’s Nico Muller in P4; Vandoorne was now in P5.

Gunther held a steady lead for the next handful of laps having been smooth, clean and consistent so far.

Felipe Massa (ROKiT Venturi Racing) faced a spin at the Turn 1/2 chicane complex after minor contact, that cemented his place at the back and out of the race.

Sam Bird, debuting at the FE Race At Home Challenge this race, was out after six laps.

The two I-Type 4s collide at Turn 1 – Evans retired after missing his left-rear wheel – Image Credit: © ABB Formula E

The Panasonic Jaguar Racing teammates collided at turn 1 following their pursuit against Vandoorne. The Belgian defended well, but the Jaguar boys caught out each other; this left Calado with damage and Evans to retire at the start of lap seven.

Vandoorne battled hard with NIO’s Oliver Turvey, as they both fought for P5. For a handful of laps, Turvey was nose-to-tail with a wounded Vandoorne (now in P5).

Turvey battled to the end with the Silver Arrows – Image Credit: © ABB Formula E

Eventually, the other Silver Arrow Mercedes-Benz of Nyck De Vries (P8) caught up to Turvey (P7), whilst in this battle.

Still in the Mercedes-Benz EQ sandwich, Turvey defended his position.

He was caught a few times by De Vries, but their jostling ran right to the finish between all three drivers; they finished in their respective positions (P5, P6, and P7) after a future mistake by Wehrlein.

The dark horse of Pascal Wehrlein showed impressive pace and was in close pursuit of leader Maximilian Gunther. Five laps from the end, he found himself ever closer until disaster struck.

Onboard from Pascal Wehrlein (w/ Gunther in the bottom-left corner) – Image Credit: © ABB Formula E

As an easy hotspot to suffer, he clipped the wall at turn one which meant that he fell back as Gunther opened a 10-second gap in P1.

James Calado made up the most positions starting in P19, and finishing in P8.

Having made very few mistakes throughout, Maximilian Gunther of the BMW i Andretti Motorsport dominated the race and took the win by a lead of 15 seconds. This hat-trick of wins puts him at a lead in the drivers’ standings.

There are set to be more new tracks ahead of this virtual season, but have not been unveiled yet.

The Formula E ‘Stay at Home Challenge’ can be viewed/followed via their official social media: Twitter, Facebook, Twitch (as many of the drivers are streaming on) and Youtube. It is also streamed and will be available on BBC iPlayer.

Formula E Race at Home Challenge – 2020 Calendar
Date Race Time (British Summer Time)
April 18 (Completed) Pre-Season Test Round 15:30 BST
April 25 (Completed) Round 1 15:30 BST
May 2 (Completed) Round 2 15:30 BST
May 9 Round 3 15:30 BST
May 16 Round 4 15:30 BST
May 23 Round 5 15:30 BST
May 30 Round 6 15:30 BST
June 6 Round 7 15:30 BST
June 7 Round 8 – Grand Final 15:30 BST