BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Guenther won the first points-paying round of Formula E's Race at Home Challenge on the virtual Hong Kong circuit after polesitter Stoffel Vandoorne crashed.
Vandoorne, who finished second to Guenther in the pre-season race on the virtual Monaco course last weekend, snared pole by just 0.098 seconds over Esports debutant Pascal Wehrlein.
The Mercedes driver enjoyed a strong launch to lead into Turn 1 and held an 0.8s advantage at the end of the first lap.
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But he crashed halfway through the second tour and fell as low as sixth before quickly recovering past NIO 333's Oliver Turvey.
Guenther inherited the lead and he eased to an eventual 2.2s victory margin over Envision Virgin Racing substitute Nick Cassidy - who was deputising for Sam Bird.
Bird was the only absentee from FE's 24 real-world drivers as a result of home internet issues and he is expected to participate in the next round.
Guenther's only scare came at the race's first corner, when Wehrlein lunged down the inside of the hairpin.
That forced Guenther to run wide and he temporarily fell to fourth as Cassidy also claimed a position.
But the wide line allowed Gunether to get a strong run down the following straight and he out-dragged the pair to reclaim second, which would then become first.
Mahindra racer Wehrlein ended his sim racing bow in an impressive third ahead of Cassidy's team-mate Robin Frijns, who climbed three places from seventh in qualifying.
Vandoorne struggled to make progress after his crash and so crossed the line in fifth ahead of Oliver Rowland and Turvey.
Felipe Massa celebrated his 38th birthday with eighth place ahead of the Mahindra of Jerome D'Ambrosio.
Alexander Sims finishing 10th gave BMW a double points finish, while Ma Quingha and Neel Jani rounded out the top 12.
With the game's damage level increased from 25% to 80% for the first championship round, Andre Lotterer and James Calado both retired early after picking up issues.
Reigning FE champion Jean-Eric Vergne had been in third during the early stages but disconnected from the session and was ranked 22nd ahead of Nyck de Vries.
Audi driver Lucas di Grassi did not start the race owing to connection issues.