Last week, after a 4 weeks break the all-electric racing series E-Challenge returned to the action, as we visited another replica of another exciting Formula E venue. What usually is a forgotten Berlin airport once a year turns into a racetrack providing exciting racing action.
The qualifying saw 14 drivers attempting to set a lap time in the temporary concrete maze, with Imran Azhar topping the sheets with a time of 1:02.25, followed by N. Puntola and Jared Meade in third. Halfway through the qualifying the rain came, forcing the 8 drivers advancing to the duels to switch to the less grippy road tyres.
G. Lara tried his best to come on top with the time of 1m 11.17s, but N. Puntola denied him from doing so by beating that time by mere 8 hundreds of a second. Azhar acquired the third grid spot with Meade in 4th place.
The race 1 started in a pretty normal fashion, as everyone got away cleanly and safely navigated through the early turns. That however did not last long, as a pile up occurred in turn 3, putting R. Kronpušs' car into a durability test as it went airborne and rolled in the process. That however did not stop him from keeping going and chasing the rest of the field.
Puntola and Azhar broke away pretty soon with a great start, but very soon Gâbor Gyüre managed to catch the leading duo. While trading places frequently, these three were eventually caught by another racer - Karol Motiejuitis after being absent in Mexico tried hard to deliver a good result.
In the back, another group of drivers kept the viewers entertained - Vitor, Kapal, Meade, Lucidi and Kronpušs were giving it all to outpace their nearest competitors. Towards the end of the race P. Vitor and J. Meade gave the best impression from this group, as they were placed 5th and 6th respectively. R. Kronpušs however had one extra attack boost activation in the sleeve and he used it to the fullest - on the final lap, he managed to make a double pass on Vitor and Meade on the back straight and was right on the tail of limping Puntola who after battling for the less early in the race was struggling hard on low remaining energy.
Imran Azhar won the race with plenty of energy to spare, closely followed be Gábor Gyüre and Karolis Motiejuitis in third. Niko.Puntola barely kept the 4th place, as Rony Kronpušs almost overtook his crawling car on the line.
12 cars saw the finish line of the 33 laps long race.
The race 2 had a twist - literally, as the second layout was (as is usual for Formula E in Berlin) held in opposite direction. With top 10 reversed it was C. Eduardo who started from pole position. M. Kapal started from second and L. Lucidi from third. Two drivers - I. Azhar and R. Kronpušs opted to use the PowerUp Wild Card feature, enabling them to use the full power of the car for this specific race.
As the lights went green, Martin Kapal had a perfect launch and acquired the race lead before arriving into turn one. Few contacts happened here and there before the first and only Safety Car appearance of the evening happened - Rony Kronpušs had a very unlucky moment as his tyre clipped the concrete curb at the apex of turn two and consequently rolled his car as a result of the violent collision with the track environment.
The Safety Car soon departed into the pitlane, allowing the race to be restated with extra two laps added to the total running length.
Jared Meade and Martin Kapal soon broke away as the rest of the pack led by Motiejuitis struggled to keep up the pace. Soon even Motiejuitis managed to break away from Gábor Gyüre as the race progressed to its halfway point.
The winner of the previous race Imran Azhar, despite being equipped with the full power of 350 kW for this particular race was really struggling to advance through the field after starting from P10 - his soft R1 tyres suffered all race long from overheating, so despite having the power advantage, the lack of grip kept him on the leash in a somewhat safe distance from the leaders. A late Safety Car would surely put him back in the contention, but that was not the case as the race proceeded to be a pretty clean run after the opening laps mayhem.
At the end of lap 35 it was Jared Meade who crossed the line in P1, followed by Gábor Gyüre in second and Imran Azhar after a very challenging race in third place.
With four races completed, we saw four different winners from four different teams. Will we see new names on the list of winners this week at the faithful recreation of the Singapore street circuit? Will it be your name on the top of the timing sheets? Prove yourself, join the E-Challenge championship and fight for the glory and monetary prizes.
Use the this link https://www.lfs.net/forum/thre ... -Challenge-2023---Sign-up to sign up and don't forget to show up on the event server on Sunday 26th February at 17:30 UTC when we race once again.
Here is the broadcast replay link, so you can re-enjoy the action from the round 2: