Breakthrough E1 Championship victory for GT Radial Eurasia and Inigo Anton in Canada
Date posted on September 1, 2021 · Published by eurasiapr
The second round of the E1 Championship today at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve proved to be a dramatic* and successful affair for GT Radial Eurasia, taking the race win in the second, longer race of the day with Inigo Anton. It was a long-overdue but fully deserved victory for the young Filipino racer and the team after showing race-leading pace so many times over the last two seasons of E1 competition.
“There was so much going on in that race. We survived a few incidents and so it’s fantastic to take my first international similar race win,” Inigo said. “A big thank you to my parents who have been so supportive and also to the team and GT Radial, it’s great to give them their first race win too. I’m very happy with this result in Montreal.”
The qualifying session saw Inigo and Wakkeen record the eighth and 12th fastest laps respectively, and it was straight into the 15-minute Sprint race. Inigo initially lost position to the fast-starting Kalen Chin off the line to run in ninth, slotting in behind Josh Purwien following contact from the latter at the hairpin. A frantic opening segment followed with the Australian unable to pull out any significant advantage. Contact for Mika Hakimi exiting the final turn gave the Filipino eighth and with Chin apparently suffering from tyre wear, he was able to close the gap to cross the right on the tail of his rival.
Wakkeen meanwhile also initially dropped a position, this time to Aaron Lim, but soon regained the spot and set about passing Ariff Azmi, which he did on lap three. Not content to settle for position, Wakkeen soon caught and passed Naquib Azlan as the #17 racer headed for the pit lane. Now running in a comfortable tenth, he closed the gap to Hakimi ahead of the chequered flag.
While the Sprint race was a relatively tame affair, the longer 30-minute reverse grid race was dramatic from start to the 26th and final lap where Inigo took the race lead and subsequent victory.
Inigo lined up fourth on the grid for the rolling start, directly behind Wakkeen. He quickly moved second behind Purwien with Wakkeen fresh out of luck and suffering contact that dropped him down the order. Luke Banister was able to pass Inigo next time around and the race briefly settled into a rhythm with the top four runners running nose to tail at the front of the 19-car field.
A misunderstanding with rival Banister saw him make contact with the back of the #23 car as he headed into the pit lane, but as the mid-race pitstop cycled through, Inigo ran in fourth place. Soon after, race leader Muhammad Ibrahim hit a backmarker, and then on lap 23, Ar Muhammad Aleef and Purwien made contact directly in front of Inigo.
Consistency and pace had certainly paid off as Inigo took the lead by five seconds from Ibrahim. It was a position that he would retain to the end of the race to take his first E1 Championship race win. While Anton celebrated his success, the early contact for Wakkeen severely compromised his race, but he battled back from towards the back of the field to finish in 11th position.
The 33 points on the board from the Montreal double-header today takes Inigo to 47 in total and up to seventh position in the championship battle with GT Radial Eurasia fifth on 65. The next round takes place in two weeks’ time on the oval at Indianapolis.
*It was later announced that Inigo had received time penalties of five seconds and ten for the Sprint and Reverse Grid race respectively and therefore having taken the chequered flag first in the latter, is denied the victory.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.