Image Source: FIA Formula E
The biggest news from the world of motorsport came out of Beijing this weekend, from the opening race of the brand new Formula E series which was held on the streets of the Chinese capital very early on Saturday morning (08.00 GMT).
Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi has become the first ever Formula E race winner, with Franck Montagny of Andretti finishing second and Di Grassi’s teammate Danielt Abt brought home third, a dream start for Audi Sport Abt. Despite this the win really should have belonged to either Nick Heidfield of Venturi or Nick Prost of Renault as they both lead going into the final turn. Heidfield made a bold diving move up the outside of Prost, who then made a late and somewhat foolish defensive manoeuvre causing the pair of them to collide which sent Heidfield spinning through the air into the crash barrier in a very violent accident.
The incident left both drivers out of the race, much to Heidfield’s annoyance who would most likely have passed Prost and gone on to the win the race. Fortunately both drivers were perfectly fine, Heidfield expressed a very slight pain in his leg after the race but nothing serious which demonstrates how safe the Formula E cars are. Heidfield can be seen in the video climbing out of his cockpit and chasing after his opponent to engage in what we can only imagine was a polite exchange of opinions on driving style.
Just to let everybody know: I am fine... physically... Could/would/should have won that. Now nothing... #racing — Nick Heidfeld (@NickHeidfeld) September 13, 2014
Although the big crash drew a lot of attention to the sport, which is what the organisers wanted for the first race, it did detract a bit from some of the excellent racing that took place. From the first lap onwards there were some very intelligent moves and passes going on and a lot of people who were not initially supportive of the series will have been swayed by the quality of racing. The street track provided a different type of racing to that of Formula 1, uneven surfaces meant drivers had to be very careful about where they were on the tack with very tight and technical bends providing the platform for some great racing.
We are very much looking forward to the next round which will be held on the 22nd November in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Volkswagen enjoyed what can only be described as a perfect weekend of racing in the WRC this weekend in Australia. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took home their sixth win of the season but it does not stop there, VW teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila followed in second, though they did trail by 6.8 seconds, a significant time after only 300 Kilometers of racing. The team spirit only increased when Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Floene rounded off the podium in third with a full VW team line up!
Ogier leads Volkswagen podium sweep in Rally Australia http://t.co/tKiB3Z7mBF pic.twitter.com/YiH53LaJVJ — FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) September 14, 2014
Does the celebration for VW stop there? No it does not. Volkswagen actually wrapped up the manufacturers title with three rounds to go because now only a VW drivers can mathematically win. It really was the perfect weekend for the German manufacturer.
Robert Kubica - Photo of the Day - Rally Australia 2014 #Kubica #WRC @RallyAustralia @MSportLtd pic.twitter.com/7n11mQSv8Y — Kubica 4 Fans (@Kubica4Fans) September 12, 2014
It was actually Latvala who lead the charge on the final day with Ogier following behind in second but he simply was not able to hold the pace against his team mate, who eventually of course took the lead. Latvala did not give it up without a fight though and they actually traded fastest times numerous times throughout the day eventually conceding first place to Ogier. The World Rally Championship contenders are back over to Europe for Rallye de France Alsace which takes place on the 2nd – 5th of October.
Over the pond now to America where we check in with NASCAR where Brad Keselowski grabs his fifth victory of the season by winning at the opening of the NASCAR Chase series at Chicagoland speedway. A battle between Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick left a gap open between the pair and Keselowski dove through it to claim first. Keselowski said afterward that he “just saw a hole, and I went for it”. A restart on lap 262 worked out in his favour where he was able to pull away to victory.
CONGRATS: @keselowski advances to next #NASCAR Chase round w/ @ChicagolndSpdwy win. Results » http://t.co/wXWbLZbhGJ pic.twitter.com/pgCGyLjIga — BristolMotorSpeedway (@BMSupdates) September 15, 2014
With his second ever victory at Chicagoland, Keselowski has ensured that he will advance to the next round of the Chase under a new format that features a trio of three-race elimination rounds and a final race at Homestead to settle the championship between the last four eligible drivers. A really excellent weekend of racing had by a lot of people and some history made with the first ever all electric racing series. We are particularly looking forward to how Formula E works out and we can’t wait to see who steals the WRC championship! Want to know more about Formula E ? Check out our beginners guide to Formula E.