June 7, 2020 / 6:11 PM / a month ago

Esports-Vandoorne wins Formula E's virtual 'Race at Home Challenge'

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne won Formula E’s virtual ‘Race at Home Challenge’ for Mercedes on Sunday after finishing second in Sunday’s Grand Final.

The former McLaren F1 driver had started 14 points behind his German rival Pascal Wehrlein but the final race around the Berlin Tempelhof layout offered double points, allowing a comfortable victory.

The series features regular Formula E drivers competing on simulators from their homes and aims to provide some action for fans of the all-electric championship, with racing on hold in real life due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has also been fundraising for U.N. children’s fund UNICEF’s global coronavirus appeal.

Wehrlein finished ninth, in a race won by Britain’s Oliver Rowland for Nissan e.dams, after being caught up in a turn two pile-up that dropped him to 21st. The Mahindra driver ended up overall runner-up.

“It has been a good championship, a lot of fun but I’m looking forward to real life and the start of the real season soon and put these performances into reality,” commented Vandoorne.

Formula E has yet to issue a revised calendar after halting racing in March.

Slovenian gamer Kevin Siggy Rebernak, a member of McLaren’s esports team, took the Challenge Grid championship with four wins in eight races. His prize is a drive in a real Formula E Gen2 race car at a future ePrix weekend. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

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