Rome E-Prix: Evans fends off Lotterer for maiden Jaguar win


Kiwi Mitch Evans valiantly fought off the relentless assaults of poleman André Lotterer to clinch Jaguar's first win in the ABB FIA Formula E championship.

Conditions were mixed in the Eternal City on Saturday with a rain-hit qualifying session that saw Techeetah's Lotterer secure pole from Evans and HWA's Stoffel Vandoorne.

The clouds had blown over however by the time the afternoon race was launched, but a messy first lap and a mishap by José Maria Lopez led to a pile up involving Gary Paffett and Jean-Eric Vergne, with several other drivers stranded as collateral damage.

The red-flagged race was suspended for 45 minutes and when it resumed, Lotterer led the field with Evans snapping at his heels.

Eventually, with 16 minutes remaining on the clock, the Jaguar charger forced his way past the German, thanks partly to an attack mode activation. However, Evans was given a warning by the race director for his forceful 'elbows-out' move.

Lotterer hounded his rival and indeed almost succeeded in gaining the upper hand, but Evans pulled out all the stops to remain in front, ultimately taking the checkered flag and delivering to himself and to Jaguar a first ever FE win.

A solid and consistent effort by HWA's Vandoorne yielded a well-deserved maiden podium for the former McLaren driver, six seconds behind the front-running duo, while Virgin Racing's Robin Frijns snatched fourth from Nissan e.dams Sébastien Buemi in the closing stages of the race.

A P8 finish allowed Mahindra's Jerome d'Ambrosio to recapture the championship lead, with the Belgian's tally of 65 points just edging BMW-Andretti's Antonio Felix da Costa by a single point.

Lotterer and Evans closed in on the leaders at the top of the drivers' standings, with 62 and 61 points respectively.