The second round of the new eSkootr Championship took place this weekend in the stunning mountainous surroundings of Sion, Switzerland. The Carlin squad won the Sion Teams’ trophy after taking the most points of any team and now duly lead the Teams’ standings while Anish Shetty also tops the Riders’ standings.
It was a strong weekend for Carlin’s trio of riders, with all three making it out of the heat stages to progress to the quarter finals. Both Shetty and Danny Skinner won their heats to progress, while Nicci Daly recovered from a chaotic heat for her group to get back on her S1-X and take fourth to progress through to the quarter finals.
In a day packed full of track action, Shetty and Daly found themselves in the same quarter finals group, with Daly recovering from two start-line incidents in London to completely dominate the starts in Sion and take an early lead in her quarter-final. Team mate Shetty would in the end find a way past, but Daly remained competitive to take third at the flag with both Carlin riders progressing through to the semi-finals. Skinner meanwhile suffered opposite fortunes in his quarter-final; the British rider was hit and tumbled down the order after coming off his eSkootr and just missed out on the chance of progressing.
Once again in the same semi-final group as Shetty, Daly made another lightning start, taking an early lead before an incident brought out the red flag. With the race restarted again from the top of the starting ramp, the pressure was building as the riders fought for the all-important places in the final. Daly, who had looked determined on the ramp from the outset, made another fantastic start, taking the lead into the first straight with team mate Shetty behind her. In a repeat of the quarter final, Shetty did eventually find a way past and went on to win, with Daly putting up a brilliant fight to take third at the flag and book herself a place in the final.
Lining up for his second consecutive final, Shetty was one of the odds-on favourites for the Sion victory, with Daly making her first appearance in the final six. As the lights went green and the riders thundered down the ramp, both Carlin riders found themselves boxed in and slightly down the order. Shetty pushed hard to make up positions but came off his scooter while making a move for position and had to scramble to recover. Daly meanwhile had run out of boost and found herself pushed down the order despite front running pace earlier in the day. At the flag, Shetty took fourth, just missing out on his second consecutive podium but claimed fastest lap of the final, while Daly came home sixth.
Championship leader, Shetty said, “After the first round in London, I felt there were a couple of things I could improve on, physically and mentally that were specific to eSC. I did some work on those things and the coming to Sion, I felt more confident. That preparation really helped me and had some good pace in the practice and in the heats. Into the finals, I rushed into making a move, which was a mistake, but overall the thing to take away from the weekend is that I’m currently leading the standings. I think with leading the championship and some changes we have made we look strong for the next round as well. It’s amazing to see two Carlin scooters in the finals, and leading the teams’ championship and our aim now is to stay at the top.”
A delighted Daly commented, “Reaching the final was something I didn’t expect to happen so soon. My goal was to make the quarter final and to be competitive enough to reach the semi-final for the first time but to be the first female to qualify for an eSC final was really special. My starts were my biggest strength this weekend, and I managed to be the first off the ramp in every race. I didn’t have the outright pace of some of the riders, but I knew if I could be difficult to pass there was every chance I could progress. Realising what’s possible makes me hungrier for more.
“A big thank you to Carlin for their hard work over the weekend and congratulations to my team mates who rode brilliantly to put us first in the team standings. Thanks also to everyone at eSC for putting a fantastic show on the streets of Sion.”
A slightly frustrated Skinner added, “I had a rough time on Friday as I was off the pace and missed a couple of practice sessions due to a technical issue but the team did an amazing job to get the eSkootr fixed for race day. I found my pace on race day and got a great start in my heat and led from start to finish to take home my first win. Unfortunately, my quarter final didn't quite go to plan as I was taken out by a pretty aggressive lunge while I was battling for third. Anish and Nicci did an amazing job for the team and I hope next round I can join them and have all three Carlin riders in the final.”