- Mahindra Racing took a double podium and a large portion of the biggest ever prize in sim racing today at CES in Las Vegas.
- Felix Rosenqvist took second place against a field including 10 of the world's top sim racers.
- Due to a technical glitch, Olli Pahkala was given a post race penalty to finish third.
7 January 2017, Las Vegas: Mahindra Racing is celebrating a double podium tonight with a healthy portion of the $1 million prize from the first ever-Formula E Vegas eRace.
Finishing second, Rosenqvist out performed the entire Formula E contingent to challenge for victory in a close race against pro sim racer Bono Huis (Dragon Racing) in the 20-lap virtual event. The prize money on offer has made history as the biggest sim race to date.
With $200k on the line for first place, $100k for second and $50k for third, Mahindra's allocated sim racer Finn Olli Pahkala pitted early during the race and picked his way through the field to the front. Unfortunately, due to a software glitch, Pahkala was given a post race penalty to finish third behind Rosenqvist.
In qualifying, Rosenqvist set the fastest lap time only to be pipped at the last moment by Huis. It was made more impressive by the fact that he was the only Formula E driver to qualify in the top 10 and automatically progress to front row for the main event. Joining him was Mahindra Racing's sim racer Olli Pahkala, who qualified sixth.
A small mistake for Nick Heidfeld damaged the rear wing of his virtual M3Electro and hampered his race qualifying effort. He competed in the Qualifying Race and gained some positions to work his way up from 20th to 14th (effectively 24th overall).
The FIA Formula E Championship returns to real world racing next month for the Buenos Aires ePrix on Saturday 18 February, when Mahindra Racing will challenge for its third championship podium in a row on temporary street circuits in city centres.
Felix Rosenqvist: "Overall this Vegas eRace was a very different experience! You could tell that the sim racing environment was something very new to all of us, as we are used to being strapped into an actual car and not sitting in front of a lot of people. In the end it worked out very well for me and I was up the front in every session. Luckily, in the final I started from the front row and had a very clean race with a long first stint, without any traffic and I was able to cruise to the podium in P2. I hope I can do more races like this in the future! Now we will celebrate a little!"
Olli Pahkala: "In the end, P3 was more than welcome for me. It's been a blast! I made some mistakes in the practice session preparation which cost me pace later on and P3 is more than fair for everyone with what happened. The event has been something unique and has really pushed the sport to the next level. It's huge for Formula E, but it's really massive for all of the sim racers around the world. The two worlds belong together and it's good to see the sports develop with an event like this."
Nick Heidfeld: "I enjoyed it more than I expected! It was more fun and a bit different to what we normally do at the Formula E races. Of course, congratulations to Olli and especially to Felix who did an amazing job against the pro sim drivers. If we have another event like this, I will definitely prepare for it. It might be interesting now to see people from Formula E and wider motorsport start to follow sim racing - and vice versa, combining those two worlds."
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team: "A double podium for Mahindra Racing is a fantastic result and it was particularly impressive to see Felix right at the front of the pack challenging the sim racers. He was the only Formula E driver to qualify in the top ten and then put in a super pole performance that put him on the front row. We knew that Olli was going to be an asset to the team from the start and congratulations to him for third place. I look forward to maybe seeing Formula E and sim racing progress further together in the future."
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About Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is one of ten teams - and the only Indian team - to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship. It is also the first and only Indian team to participate in the FIM MotoGPTM World Motorcycle Racing Championship Series since 2011 and the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV) in 2012.
Mahindra Racing enters the third season of Formula E with its own electric powertrain to power its quartet of electric racing cars. The new M3Electro, launched for season three, is ready to build on the team's successes which include two podiums and seven double-points finishes during the 2015-16 season. Together with drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld, the team has high technical and sporting ambitions in the ground-breaking, fully-electric championship.
Mahindra is known for competing in the Moto3TM class of the MotoGPTM World Championship Series as both a team and manufacturer. From 2015, India's first and only MotoGPTM manufacturer has concentrated on strengthening the development program of its successful Mahindra MGP3O Moto3TM racing motorcycle. Mahindra's bold decision to take on the world’s best at the highest level of motorcycle racing has won the team a number of prestigious awards in India.
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The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.
A USD 17.8 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra provides employment opportunities to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.
In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra was recognized as the Best Company for CSR in India in a study by the Economic Times. In 2014, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000, a comprehensive listing of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenue, profit, assets and market value. The Mahindra Group also received the Financial Times 'Boldness in Business' Award in the 'Emerging Markets' category in 2013.
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