Discover Awesome Racing 2.0

Saturday‘s Formula E race ended under red flags, and all of Twitter seemed to be moaning about it. But there were five cars crashes out at the time, and the broadcast cameras hadn’t caught the biggest crash of all.

But now Formula E has released a video from a non-broadcast camera:

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What’s the story with

Guy get out of his car or something? That sounds like a very bad idea to me. I guess that’s why he gets paid the big bucks.

When they say “he abandoned his race” they don’t say he was the other racer involved in the accident, so probably had the back of his car smashed up, was running in 14th with 5 minutes of the race left. I think he would have pulled over immediately anyway, but seeing a car on its roof, and probably having more experience with this kind of thing than the local marshals, got out to help.

Normally drivers have to stay in their cars after a crash, until given permission to get out by race control, as that is the safest place to be on these street circuits. In this case being first on the scene to a huge crash is the right call.

Here is the other footage from trackside, first showing the previous crash in the same corner. With both videos the crash makes sense: Evans sees the crash ahead and the yellow flags, and starts slowing down. Lynn doesn’t see that, and approaches from behind waaay quicker, tries going around the right side of Evans, hits the wall and the back of Evans’ car, and becomes an airplane.

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Not sure if awesome yet, but I watched the replays of the qualifying runs yesterday and very much enjoyed it. Just time me runs so far, but the head-to-head-to-head racing starts today!

It’s Extreme E, which this weekend seems to be electric Dakar racing on Mars/Tatooine.

The driver lineup is crazy here! Three time Dakar winner Carlos Sainz (senior) vs nine time world rally champion Sebastian Loeb vs three time and current rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson.

And that’s just the lineup of one of the semi-final races, where the top two go through to the final. Jenson Button, former F1 champion, is not close to being the favorite.

The highlights show the drama so far: two drivers rolling their cars, one driver finishing with a puncture, another with no power steering, another mechanical, and four huge penalties for safety infringements. It’s a pity only a few cars had clean runs across all four laps, but the semi-final lineup is the one I hoped for.

The racing: not awesome. It’s too dusty. After the first corner, nobody behind first place can see unless they drop 30 seconds back. So no overtaking, and no possibility to change the result after the second corner. And the final rankings are by time, which means if you qualify first, but have to run a minute behind the leader, come in third, you’re back in 5th or 6th place in the final points rankings.

The qualifying runs were very exciting, as both male and female drivers have equal impact on the timings. In the races, the guys go first, as they are the rallycross experts, and the women just run out the clock.

Quite disappointing. Hopefully the races in Greenland will be better due to less dust and the cars can follow each other far closer.

How many overtakes for the lead can you make while airborne?

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Personally zero to this point but I’m working on it.

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The Formula E race today took Formula E crazy to the next level. But the next level down.

For a while when a safety car came out, the drivers would use less power, and that power was available at the end of the race. It meant that there was no power saving needed, and everyone pushed flat put to the end after a safety car.

A few years ago the FIA introduced a new rule: for every minute under safety car, a certain amount of energy was removed from the total available. This means that after a a safety car there was even less power than normal, and the drivers would still have to do some energy saving to get to the end.

But today’s race was the first ever Formula E race on a normal (non-street) circuit… and it was raining. That meant cars sliding off… into gravel traps.

This lead to FIVE safety car periods. They were all over quickly, but each removed more and more usable power. Until the last safety car period came to an end with two laps to go, and all the energy levels dropped to between 5% and 0%.

12 cars didn’t make it to the end, most ran out of energy or were penalized for using too much. Mercedes was the only team to do their sums correctly, and had both drivers on the podium, despite Stoffel Vandoorne being in last place at one point and having a five second penalty.

The last classified drive crossed the line over four minutes after the winner! In other words he limped round using as little power as possible, as slow as possible.

The whole thing was a complete farce… but that’s kind of why I enjoy watching Formula E. This happens a bit in Formula 1 (like the entire top 10 not making it across the line in time for a final qualifying run at Monza a few years ago) but Formula E, being such a new series with huge changes happening at a faster rate than most types of racing, dials up the stupid remarkably often.

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To make up for the garbage race a few weeks ago, Formula E just pulled off the best race at Monaco I’ve ever seen, and one of the best Formula E races too. F1 cars have outgrown the street circuit, but it’s now the perfect size for FE cars and the close racing it produces.

Fantastic test of the catch fences:

Extreme E had its best race weekend yet!

This is mainly due to all the drivers getting the hang of the cars so there aren’t any truly weak links in the teams, and also they’ve fixed the format. For the first two meetings, semi-final 1 was made up of teams 1, 2 and 3 from qualifying, and semi-final 2 had teams 4, 5 and 6 from qualifying. This was bullshit! The best place to finish qualifying was in fourth, as you were pretty sure to beat at least one of the weaker teams. Now teams 1, 5 and 6 are in one semi-final, and 2, 3 and 4 are in the other. So no matter what, you should always aim for the number one spot.

They also put five teams through to the final, two from each semi-final and one from the crazy race. The crazy race features the bottom three teams from qualifying, and give a team whose truck broke down in qualifying a way to the final.

Semi-final 1 was the best race of the series so far. The crazy race was indeed crazy. Rosberg X Racing, who won both previous races, had issues.

In fact, with the super rough terrain, a lot of the drama came from moments defined by:

“Our car is behind, so if we just push it like crazy we either win or the car breaks!”

This led to a lot of big airs that broke the cars, and an insane drive over the rock garden that never looked like it was going to end well… and it didn’t end well.

Also the mixed gender teams is working out great. Come for the showdown between Carlos Sainz and Sebastian Loeb, and the rallycross swedes sending it in big trucks… but stay for Catie Munnings and Molly Taylor kicking ass against all the boys.

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That was indeed a fantastic race! I’m enjoying this a lot more than I ever enjoyed F1 TBH.

Oops.

An Electric vehicle won a Dakar rally stage for the first time! And as it’s the first year it’s been attempted, you could really say Audi managed it on their fourth stage attempt. Not bad at all!

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Who hits the wall?

Yes.

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When I think of F1 drivers going to NASCAR after retirement I think of Juan Pablo Montoya. Can Kimi do better?

New record at Goodwood hillclimb

This car is insane. It beat the Goodwood record of the car that has the Pikes Peak record (the VW ID), and it seems like the aerodynamic approach would work well over the elevation change at Pikes Peak.

More information here:

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Also from goodwood, Randy Pobst doing a full commentary of his run in a heavily modified Tesla.

Not exactly legal racing, but a very interesting video about the history of the Midnight Racing club and the infamous Blackbird 911.

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NASCAR??

Yep. Look at this magnificent player of games.

There’s a race in November that will determine the championship. Chastain had to place well enough in this race to have a chance of being the champion. Otherwise, even coming in first in the November race wouldn’t be good enough.

It’s one of those short oval tracks with the high banks.

On the final two turns of the final lap he just puts it all on the line. Really, it’s what everyone should be doing on the final lap. I respect them for playing to win the game.

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