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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeFormula ENick Cassidy Wins USA Formula E Race As Jake Dennis Takes Championship...

Nick Cassidy Wins USA Formula E Race As Jake Dennis Takes Championship Lead At Southwire Portland E-Prix

Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy won an enthralling Southwire Portland E-Prix ahead of Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team driver Jake Dennis in second place, propelling the pair to the top of the world championship standings with Dennis leading Cassidy by a point. TAG Heuer Porsche’s António Félix da Costa finished third while just seven seconds split the first 17 cars at the flag.

Cassidy measured his race to perfection starting from P10 on the grid as the 22-strong field jostled for superiority over the 32-lap race. It is the first time the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has raced at the famed Portland International Raceway, and Formula E’s unique balancing act between energy efficiency and outright pace came to the fore.

The strategic battle for top spot was clear from the opening lap as positions and race leaders changed corner by corner in groups five and six wide at points, resulting in 403 passes during the race.

Kiwi Cassidy led the way several times but got the better of da Costa, himself a race leader, on Lap 28 with the decisive move, only a few turns after the Portuguese had seized the initiative.

Cassidy first hit the front on Lap 3 while da Costa clambered through the pack from P8 to pile the pressure on the Envision Racing driver right to the flag but Cassidy held fast for a third win of Season 9.

Jake Dennis started in Julius Bär Pole Position and led the opening stages but couldn’t time his late-race charge as precisely as Cassidy, though he did manage to pass da Costa in the final lap to push the Portuguese into third.

Going into the race, Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team) was leading the Drivers’ standings by just one point ahead of Dennis. The German was fortunate to escape contact and come home in ninth, just inside the points at the chequered flag. Wehrlein sits in third on 136 points, trailing the leading pair of Dennis and Cassidy on 154 and 153 points respectively.

On his 29th birthday, Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) recovered from 20th on the grid to fourth – earning the ABB Driver of Progress Award for the most places gained in the race – and ensuring he remains in the title fight on 122 points with four races to come in Season 9.

Off the track, more than 20,000 attended the sold-out debut race for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Portland. Cheerleaders from local NBA team, the Portland Trail Blazers entertained fans, while first-year forward for the Trail Blazers, Jabari Walker, also enjoyed the race. Olympic champion skier Lindsey Vonn was embedded with the Jaguar TCS Racing team and experienced a high-speed electric lap of the track.

American rapper, singer and fashion designer Jaden Smith unveiled his own unique livery design on a Formula E GEN3 race car – the fastest, lightest most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built – in the Allianz Fan Village before the race.

Jaden Smith said: “I have such a connection with Formula E. I absolutely loved coming back for my second E-Prix, even more, being able to design my own GEN3 livery. It’s such an incredible platform to express myself and my passion for innovation. Seeing it come to life was unreal. I believe we all need to give back to the world and create our own sustainable future. That’s where Formula E is leading the charge. They prove it can be done in a thrilling way which showcases innovation, technology and outrageous racing. That’s really exciting to me. I’m all in. I can’t wait to be back.”

Nick Cassidy, No. 37, Envision Racing, said: “It’s cool. I’ve had a good run in America the last couple of years. I love racing here. That race was fun. Look it’s close. The guys we’re racing are top. Jake did an amazing job in quali. I think he was unlucky to be starting on pole – today wasn’t the race to be doing that. And António in these races is always fantastic as well. It’s close, it’s fun, it’s Formula E.

“To be fair, I saw Mitch up with me at stages, I saw Seb, I saw Sam. And we all started far back. So credit to Jaguar and credit to Envision Racing. What a car, what a powertrain.”

Jake Dennis, No. 27, Avalanche Andretti Formula E, said: “Yeah we had a good day. I think after the flag I was a little bit disappointed, just because the way the race panned out. It was really, really difficult. Nevertheless, we got P2. There was some really difficult overtakes to be had. There are some guys fighting for the championship and other guys with nothing to lose. A race like today is all about risk. I just had to keep my powder dry and come home with an undamaged car and I knew I could get a good result. To come home second, I think that’s three seconds in a row now, so I want to taste the win again in Rome. But we can be happy with a race like that – 400 overtakes – to come home with 18 points is good.

“Me and Nick are really fighting for the championship. It’s just who takes the most risk. Some of those moves on António were brave and he did really good job there. I obviously did António right on the last lap and I just about got through. I’m looking forward to having that race behind me now and getting to Rome where it’ll be a bit more normal and pole will actually be a benefit.”

Rome is the next stop in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with a double header of races on Saturday 15 July and Sunday 16 July – Rounds 13 and 14 in the 16-race season – before the finale in London two weeks later.

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