It was an all-American sweep in the Hong Kong round of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy series, which runs in support of the ABB Formula E Championship as Bryan Sellers led home Rahal Letterman Lanigan teammate Katherine Legge — winner last time out in Mexico — for the victory.
In challenging track conditions due to varying amounts of rain, Sellers qualified second for the third consecutive time for Round 3. In the race, he held his position until Caca Bueno made a mistake a few laps into the race and drove into the wall off of the front straight in the tight turn, which moved Sellers and Legge into first and second. Sellers held the position for the rest of the race and took the checkered flag 3.369 seconds ahead of Legge to become the first American to win on an ABB Formula E weekend.
“It’s a great day for everybody at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. I was a little bit jealous of Kat in Mexico City because she drove such a great race but it (finishing order) was able to be flipped this time.”
Sellers admitted he was surprised by Bueno’s early pace.
“For sure he pushed hard. In the beginning I thought, ‘Man, if he can continue the race with this pace, the race is his.’ I personally wasn’t willing to push that hard, that fast, and it looks like it caught him out just a little bit. The difficulty in these conditions, the difference between a half of a car length on the brakes, is significant. And he didn’t go in that hot. He just got in there a little too late, a little too damp and was just wide and couldn’t get it turned in the corner. Sometimes it’s your day I guess.
“I honestly doubt I would have been able to pass him. I’d like to say yes but the cars are so evenly matched and when you get up to the top three, it becomes very difficult. He’s had pace all weekend and basically led every session and I was right behind him every session. It would have taken a mistake like that for me to get around. I could sit back knowing Kat was there and know she wasn’t going to make a dive-bomb move on me and could control the pace a little bit.”
Legge concurred with her teammate’s assessment.
“There was no way I was going to have a go at Bryan. He protected me in Mexico so we just kind of chilled out,” she said. “We didn’t have a very eventful race until the last lap when I thought someone might have a go at (passing) me so I braked really early and stacked them up. It’s a team 1-2 so Bobby (Rahal) will be happy.
“Brian and I have been friends for a lot of years and there is a lot of mutual respect there. I remember 10 years ago or more and we were racing against each other in lower formula cars. When you know what someone else is capable of and they are your teammate, you try and make the most of that and learn as much as you can from them.”
In the first three rounds, Sellers finished third, second and now earned his first series win. He is the first American to win an electric car race and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD champion now leads the standings with 46 points to second-place Legge’s 42.