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99X Electric (Formule E)

Porsche Goes From Hero To Zero In Mexico Formula E Race

The highs and lows of motorsport are evident in Porsche’s experience with the Mexico City E-Prix on Saturday. From the high of a pole position to start the race to the lows of one DNF and one penalty for a ‘technical infringement’ forcing another double non-points weekend for Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani. The 99X Electric really shows promise as a fast car in the series, but the team seems to be experiencing some hellaciously bad luck lately. On to the next one, eh?

The fourth race of the Formula E season started strong for Porsche with Andre Lotterer recording an impressive fast lap in Super Pole qualifying, balancing speed with downforce to produce a great run. That Porsche can produce a brand new car with the power to set a pole position in just the fourth round of a new effort is mighty impressive in its own right. Neel Jani didn’t make the Super Pole segment of qualifying, only managing a time good enough for 14th. But then, the race happened.

Lotterer got away from the start a little slower than he expected, battling a bit of wheelspin when the lights went out. Jaguar’s Mitch Evans threw a flyer down the inside at turn one, shoving Lotterer wide. Just a few laps later in a tussle to gain back those lost positions, Lotterer got shoved into the wall, breaking his car’s nose-cone and wrapping the rear suspension in a banner ripped clear of the barriers. He was forced to retire.  In just ten laps or so Lotterer went from the proverbial hero to zero.

Jani, meanwhile, started from 14th on the grid and moved up a couple of positions in the opening phase of the race. Following a short safety car period, Jani got popped for a throttle mapping infraction on the re-start. He was awarded a drive-through penalty for the non-homologated throttle input, and that completely scrubbed his race efforts. At least this time he finished the race, but dead last with no points.

Lotterer scored three points for grabbing his Super Pole.

Reactions to the Santiago E-Prix

Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E): “That was another tough race for us. André was repeatedly involved in battles that severely damaged the car. We eventually had to withdraw the car from the race. A drive-through penalty was imposed on Neel after the safety car period. We will have to analyse the precise reason for this. Of course, we are disappointed with how the race went but we need to focus on the positive aspects of this weekend. The pole position and the pace of both drivers shows that we are really competitive.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “The start went well, even though I was on the dirty side of the track. After that, I was involved in a lot of battles and kept getting hit from in front and from behind. It’s a shame that I was later subjected to a drive-through penalty. Had that not been the case, a better result would certainly have been possible. I am happy that I was able to finish the race and gain some more experience. André’s pole position showed what the car is capable of. That gives us confidence for Marrakesh.”

André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “Of course, that is not the result I had hoped for. I struggled with wheelspin at the start and then Mitch (Evans) hit me on the first corner. That lost me a few places. It was a tough race with plenty of incidents. After so many collisions, my car was so badly damaged that I had to retire. I will go back on the attack in Marrakesh.”

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Lotterer offre à Porsche sa première pole à Mexico

André Lotterer a décroché la pole de l’E-Prix de Mexico en Formule E. Porsche s’offre sa première pole. Jean-Eric Vergne s’est classé dans le top 10.

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Porsche full of optimism as it goes in pursuit of points in Mexico City

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team travels to the next round of the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship full of optimism and with a clear goal: The team is looking to get back in the points with the Porsche 99X Electric at the Mexico City E-Prix.

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The Porsche Formula E Team Had A Really Bad Time In Chile

When the first race of the season kicked off in Saudi Arabia a couple of months ago Porsche looked pretty strong, particularly with the experienced Formula E racer André Lotterer at the wheel. With a well-earned podium place, the team hoped to build from that strength to get better throughout the season. Showing up in Santiago, Chile, was a dismal display. The team suffered a double failure during Saturday’s E-Prix, as Neel Jani retired after contact in the first handful of laps, and Lotterer spent several laps in the pits affecting repairs before he was disqualified for exceeding electric power limits.

At the front the race was really raging, however as Jaguar’s MItch Evans, DS Techeetah’s António Félix da Costa, and BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Maximilian Guenther fought for the lead, taking the fight down to the final lap with exquisite strategy and dicey racing. Ultimately it would be BMW coming out on top. Could Porsche have fought for the win if it hadn’t fallen apart for the team so early on? The world will never know.

Neel Jani started the race from 12th on the grid and was forced to retire with suspension damage. Just shortly after the race started the other BMW of Alexander Sims chucked his car down the inside at the penultimate hairpin corner, which can only really accept cars in a lead-follow situation, shoving Jani into the sidepod of one of the gold and black DS Techeetah cars, before pinballing into a couple other racers. Jani did manage to return to the track, but ultimately decided to retire as the damage was too severe. His race was immediately scuppered through no fault of his own.

Lotterer qualified a couple positions behind in 14th, and quickly made moves through the grid, getting ahead of his teammate before long. Following the incident which saw Sims take out Jani, Lotterer later misjudged a braking distance and bonked the back of Sims’ car with his Porsche 99x Electric. He pitted for repairs and returned several laps later to get log more race miles and help the team test a bit in race conditions. Because he had more electricity to play with, Lotterer ended up with energy spikes higher than the race regulations allow, but possibly that is something the team was testing to see how close to the edge they could play.

With Lotterer’s disqualification, he’s now placed 9th in the drivers’ championship standings. Jani, meanwhile, is ranked 23rd of 24 drivers, one of five drivers yet to score a single point in FIA Formula E. Hopefully the Porsche team’s luck turns around as the season heats up. The next round is in Mexico City on February 15th.

Comments from the team

Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E): “It was one of those difficult Formula E races with a few incidents. Unfortunately, the opening phase saw one of our cars damaged so severely that we had to make an early stop. Thanks to some great work from our mechanics, André was able to rejoin the race. It was an unlucky day for us, however moments like this are part of motorsport. Despite the result, there are some positive aspects, as the pace was there. We will go back on the attack in Mexico.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “We certainly had the potential to score some points. However, at the end of the first lap I was hit by another car as I turned in, which pushed me into the car next to me. That broke the front suspension on my car. Now we are looking ahead. If we continue to work hard until the next race we have a good chance of being competitive again. I remain positive despite the result. I only missed out on Super Pole by 0.15 seconds. We want to build on that in Mexico.”

André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “Unfortunately, the race finished early for me and Neel after our collisions. It’s a shame but it’s part of Formula E sometimes. Starting the race from 14th place means that it can get a bit chaotic in the middle of the field. It was important that we were able to repair the car and return to the track. That allowed us to chalk us some more kilometres, to help us take another step forward in the next race.”

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Formule E – Mauvaise course pour Porsche au Chili

Après un solide podium lors de l’ouverture de la saison à Diriyah (Arabie Saoudite), le Team TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E s’est vu refuser un nouveau meilleur résultat dans la troisième course de la saison 2019/2020 du Championnat de Formule E à Santiago du Chili. Neel Jani a été contraint de se retirer de la …

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