29 January 2021 – Last night saw Round 1 of Formula E’s FE Accelerate esports series take place, where some of the world’s greatest sim racers battled it out on the virtual streets of New York City. Representing Mahindra Racing in the series are sim stars Olli Pahkala and Lucas Muller, both of whom have seen big success in past esports competitions.

In Qualifying, Lucas was assigned to Group 3, whilst Olli was placed in Group 4. Getting only one chance to complete their fast lap, the pressure was on, but the two Mahindra racers kept their heads. Lucas was able to secure P9 whilst Olli put in a lap that lined him up in P12 for the race. ROKit Venturi Racing’s Erhan Jajovski secured pole position in a Qualifying so tight that there was only 0.03 seconds between the top 4.

The race kicked off with a dramatic first lap that saw a number of bumps and knocks, including an unfortunate collision for Lucas who spun after being hit from behind by a BMW. This incident knocked him back to 14th position, whilst Olli made up a place to P11.

Half way through the race Lucas used his first Attack Mode and was able to pass Wisniewski for 13th place, and Olli was quick to use his first boost shortly after. With 8 minutes to go the Mahindra racers sat in P12 and 13, continuing to utilise each drop of energy remaining. Lucas used his second and final Attack Mode with 7 minutes to go, whilst Olli waited until the final lap to get the energy boost. Unfortunately, on this occasion neither were able to gain a place but demonstrated some impressive skill to the chequered flag.

Pahkala and Muller finished in 11th and 12th respectively, and the race was won by pole sitter Jajovski.

After the race, Olli stated: “A promising, yet disappointing day. In general, I’m happy with the progress we’ve made in a very short period of time but unfortunately it wasn’t enough this week. The qualification and race were pretty close as we anticipated, points were ther,e but were lost to a few small risks I took. Gutted for Lucas, he was on it for top 5 minimum. We’ll get them next week!”

Summarising Round 1, Lucas said: “Qualifying was okay – I saw the times from the other drivers and I decided to go for a safe lap, due to the track not being in perfect conditions. In the race I unluckily got hit by a BMW behind me which spun me in the wall, so I dropped from P8 to P14. The pace itself was really good and, even though overtaking is really hard, I managed to pass Wisniewski. After that I caught up to Olli in front but decided to wait for my opportunity. Sadly, there was no chance for me to do anything more than P12 in the end. But I can take away from this race that my pace is there. I hope that I will have a clean and smooth race next week and then the results will come automatically.”

Round 2 will be LIVE on Thursday 4th February 2021.