Spares Box Presents: The Weekend Motorsport Wrap Up – An Electric New Champion, French Dominance elsewhere (even in Germany)
The first season of FIA’s inaugural Formula E World Championship has its first champion, in the form of Nelson Piquet Jr. After employing an incredibly aggressive strategy in the final race of the weekend’s London EPrix, the Brazilian – driving for China’s NEXTEV TCR team – clawed his way through the field, finishing seventh and in the process carving his name into the almanac as Formula E’s maiden world champion.
The victory also marks the first time that a Chinese-based race team has produced a world champion in a FIA-Sanctioned World Championship. In a weekend of historic triumphs, Englishman Sam Bird took both the race victory (albeit after Stephane Sarrazin was given a 15-place penalty for exceeding energy limits) in front of his home crowd, and e.dams-Renault claimed the first constructor’s championship.
In probably the biggest disaster of the weekend of motorsport, Switzerland’s Sebastian Buemi, who span shortly after his pit stop and in turn gave up the crucial place which would have seen him flying out of London as the new world champion. The race drew an exceptional crowd in London (totalling just under 60,000), prompting calls from the ever-humble Richard Branson that Formula E will be more popular than F1 in five years’ time. Hmmmmm…
Piquet’s victory was not the only world-first. In the nearby Battersea Park Zoo, an Ostrich had to be rehomed temporarily to prevent it being caused any distress from the noise of the cars. The racing noises had been played to the rest of the Zoo’s animals for weeks beforehand to get them used to it, but apparently no matter how earth-friendly the racing may be, ostriches have zero chill when it comes to that sort of stuff.
In places where fuel was actually burned, the World Rallycross Championship brought its brand of fast-paced action to Germany’s Estering. In a weekend of so many firsts, the series saw its first French race winner, after Davy Jeanny took out the final.Reigning World RX Champion Petter Solberg clinched the runner-up spot and has extended his Championship lead over Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson by 35 points.
France’s weekend of victory continued at home as well, as Sebastian Loeb and his Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez took out both races of the WTCC Race of France. The results saw Lopez extend his lead at the top of the championship, while frenchmen Yvan Muller and Loeb further consolidated their spots in second and third respectively.
Next weekend will see potential record crowds descending on Silverstone as Lewis Hamilton seeks further glory at his home British F1 GP, while the World Rally Championship hits Poland. NASCAR returns at Sonoma Raceway, while further north, the World Rallycross championship visits Sweden.
This week’s crash of the week actually happened last week, but it’s worth revisiting. When the European F3 series visited Spa last week, Gustavo Menezes learned that there is apparently no brake more effective than the human head.