(Reuters) - BMW i Andretti’s Maximilian Guenther completed a Formula E “Race at Home Challenge” esports hat-trick on Saturday after winning the second race of the series around a computer-generated Electric Docks circuit.
The German, winner on a Hong Kong layout last weekend, also won the April 18 test race around Monaco — making Saturday his third victory from three races even if the first does not count towards the standings.
The virtual series is filling the gap left by the Formula E season being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the regular race drivers competing on simulators from home in various countries.
Guenther was again not the fastest in qualifying around the 3.2km layout, with Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne on pole position for the second weekend in a row, but proved the most consistent.
Belgian Vandoorne hit the wall on the opening lap and was immediately out of contention and finished fifth.
Chased closely by compatriot Pascal Wehrlein with five laps remaining, Guenther found himself 15 seconds clear of the rest when the Mahindra driver hit the wall and spun.
Dutch racer Robin Frijns was second for Envision Virgin Racing, 7.748 seconds behind, with Geox Dragon’s Swiss driver Nico Mueller third.
Under the ‘race royale’ format, the last placed driver after each lap was eliminated until only 10 remained for a final sprint to the line.
Envision Virgin’s Sam Bird made his debut after resolving the connectivity problems that ruled him out last week but the Briton was a non-finisher after crashing.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis