As action-packed as a Hollywood thriller, the Long Beach ePrix had everything from overtakes, to crashes, to FanBoost excitement as the FIA Formula E season completed it’s final stop in the USA for the 2015 season.
Armed with his FanBoost, Sam Bird entered the race confident of being able to fight his way up the positions but was hit by e-dams.Renault’s Sebastian Buemi on turn one of the first lap in what was a wheel-to-wheel section of the race, leaving Bird with no room to avoid the action. Suffering damage to his front suspension, Bird boxed immediately to change into his second car and push for the fastest lap of the race with his first car left irreparable. Using his FanBoost, Bird achieved the fastest lap of the race before experiencing technical problems and having to retire.
Starting the race in fourteenth after being part of a difficult Group One of qualifying, Jaime Alguersuari was left victim of the same crash as his team-mate Bird and forced to drop places before completing one of his best car changeovers to date sending the Virgin Racing garage into applause as he entered the second stint of the ePrix in twelfth. The 25-year-old was then able to have a clean race, staying clear of the incidents that troubled other drivers and with strong energy management, had enough power in his second car to gain four places in the final laps of the race to finish the Long Beach ePrix in eighth.
The next race takes place on the 9th May 2015 when the series travels to Europe for the first time and Virgin Racing compete in Monaco.
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing driver (eighteenth position) said, “I am so thankful to my fans for giving me FanBoost. It gave me a fantastic ‘boost’ before the race knowing I had such brilliant support. It also meant that when I was involved in the incident that I could not avoid in turn one of the first lap, I had my FanBoost to help me push for the fastest lap of the race. We were very unfortunate at the Long Beach ePrix as we experienced problems throughout the day so we knew that it was always going to be a difficult race. I have really enjoyed being here in Long Beach at this iconic racing location and I am already looking forward to putting everything right and regrouping to get points again in Monaco.”
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing driver (eighth position), said, “As with every time we step into the Formula E car, we are constantly learning and understanding how we can better our efficiency. Qualifying in group one was disappointing because the track was better suited to those in the final groups but I knew I would be able to move up the standings. I experienced some technical difficulties in my first car, but after a good car changeover I was able to push on and attack for the final eighth position. Again, I am going to take everything I have learnt in Long Beach and apply that to the race in Monaco and hopefully we can get a podium.”
Alex Tai, Virgin Racing Team Principal, said, “Firstly, thank you to all of the Virgin Racing fans across the world for voting for both Sam and Jaime in FanBoost. It is fantastic that we were able to win our first ‘boost’ of the Championship here in this beautiful location of Long Beach. We learnt a lot from this race and although things did not go our way, we have time before the Monaco race and the European rounds of Formula E to rebuild and make sure we are collecting big points as we head towards that exciting London finale.”