Electric Affair in Stormy Putrajaya

Published on November 26th, 2014

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With news coming in that Lewis Hamilton has just secured his second Formula One World Champion title with an electric showing of pace and consistency, Putrajaya earlier played host to an altogether electric affair with it being the second venue in the racing calendar of the world’s first inaugural single-seater, electrically powered racing series. The 2014 Putrajaya ePrix.

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The race was brought forward 2 hours ahead of schedule due to heavy rain being forecasted late into the afternoon.

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But that did not prove to be somewhat a damper for Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird who bagged victory in the second round of the championship ahead of championship leader Lucas Di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi.

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A healthy improvement over the last race in the Beijing ePrix where he got third.

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The Virgin Racing driver crossed the line to pick up the full 25 points and consequently clinching his maiden ePrix win.

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Of note Audi Sport Abt driver Lucas Di Grassi and e.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi managed to claw their way through the field from the back of the grid to a podium finish in a packed city street circuit is never to be looked down upon.

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Bird’s win means he moves up to second place in the championship standings with just 3 points separating him and Beijing race-winner Di Grassi. Nicholas Prost continued his strong form in qualifying to finish fourth from 11th position.

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He started the position after carrying over a 10-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision in Beijing. Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio showed his resilience and determination by coming in fifth from last place.

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D’Ambrosio’s qualifying showed promise as he secured a top-three timings but in the end was curtailed as he was penalised for exceeding the maximum power usage.

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Oriol Servia, who inherited pole position on the day, made a good getaway to retain the lead at the start as Daniel Abt dropped back with what seemed to be a power issue. But he lost.

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The Qualcomm Safety Car was deployed on the opening lap to clean the debris on the track coming from Amlin Aguri’s Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti’s collision. Legge looked to be making a pass on the inside but lost the back end and caused Cerruti to spin.

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Andretti racer Matthew Brabham clashed with Venturi”s Nick Heidfeld at the tight turn 10 hairpin sending the Formula E debutant into a spin.

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Brabham’s team-mate Franck Montagny was in a feisty mood as he carved his way through the field but forced Heidfeld into the tyre barrier on the outside of turn five.

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The stricken Venturi brought out the safety car for a second time. Abt make the most of the opportunity and pitted under the safety car in an attempt to run a long second stint.

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However, it was a gamble that didn’t pay off as he dropped to 10th place to pick up a solitary point. At the tail end of the field, Mahindra’s Bruno Senna crashed heavily on the final lap in pursuit of Sebastien Buemi for the final podium spot.

Words: Azri

Photos: Roy Zakaria & Zahid Kasim

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