Jake Dennis wins the opening race of Diriyah E-Prix

Jake Dennis wins the opening race of Diriyah E-Prix

Jake Dennis secured his first win of the year in the opening Diriyah E-Prix weekend with a commanding performance.

Reigning Formula E champion Jake Dennis overcame a lackluster start to the season in Mexico City to win the opening round of the Diriyah E-Prix doubleheader in Saudi Arabia with decisive ease.

Andretti’s Jake Dennis had made a slow start to his title defence two weeks earlier in Mexico City, coming from 14th on the grid to take two points for a ninth-place finish while Pascal Wehrlein, who was racing for Andretti’s supplier Porsche, won comfortably.

However, Dennis got back to his winning ways in Diriyah, where he qualified in third position and moved to the front of the pack with ease through a tactical use of Attack Mode as Mitch Evans made a gallant early push that ultimately failed.

Vergne managed to hold onto second place ahead of Nick Cassidy after Mitch Evans’ late charge dropped the Jaguar driver from third to fifth.

Pole winner Vergne maintained his lead at the beginning of the race, followed by Mitch Evans, who fended off Sergio Sette Camara’s assault into the first corner to maintain second place, while Dennis outmuscled the ERT driver to grab third.

On the third lap, race leader Vergne was the first to activate Attack Mode but Evans took the lead after he made his first move into Attack Mode on the following lap. However he was forced to the wall by Vergne, who had the Jaguar right close to his Penske on the turn exit.

After another lap, Dennis positioned himself between Vergne and Evans after activating his first Attack Mode. But on the following lap, Vergne dropped to third place after claiming six minutes of Attack Mode.

Dennis put in a lot of effort and managed to finish the next lap in Attack Mode, but more importantly managed to stay ahead of his two rivals who were lagging behind. Meanwhile, Vergne was having trouble holding off Evans on track with his more power.

Evans eventually used up his final Attack Mode and gave up second place to Vergne. Dennis maintained his lead followed by Vergne as the Jaguar with Evans fell in third and the trio coordinated the use of their remaining Attack Modes to break away from the pack.

See also  Jake Dennis to remain with Avalanche Andretti after signing a multi-year deal

Evans overtook Vergne for second place at the bottom of the back straight on lap 13 and went on to battle Dennis for the lead at exactly the same point the next lap. However, Evans ran wide at the turn’s exit, giving Dennis the opportunity to take the lead once again.

After that, Vergne proceeded to pressure the Jaguar driver, and his efforts paid off on the 16th lap after Evans ran wide at turn 18, letting Vergne pass for second place.

Dennis was ahead of Vergne by more than a second as Evans fell behind them considerably. With just over ten laps left, Evans eventually let Jaguar teammate Nick Cassidy pass him and move into third place after Cassidy had yet another Attack Mode to activate.

Finally, Cassidy used his second Attack Mode and moved up to position himself ahead of Sam Bird’s McLaren and behind his teammate.

Dennis was still leading in the final laps while Vergne’s lead over Evans suddenly disappeared and Penske faced an intense battle for second place. Vergne was able to keep clear of Evans up until the last lap’s back straight, when the Jaguar driver misjudged his bid to overtake the Penske and ended up driving wide and falling behind Cassidy and Bird at the same time.

Dennis won with an astounding 13-second lead, followed by Vergne in second and Cassidy in third after a last-minute mistake by his teammate. Bird came in fourth as Evans dropped to fifth place after his botched pass attempt.

Norman Nato finished sixth in the sister Andretti as Maximilian Guenther came in seventh and Pascal Wehrlein in eighth place. ERT’s Sergio Sette Camara finished in ninth place as Robin Frijns rounded out the top ten.

2024 Diriyah E-Prix Round 1 Race results

11Jake DennisAndrettiPorsche 99X Electric Gen3
225Jean-Eric VergneDS PenskeDS E-TENSE FE23
337Nick CassidyJaguarJaguar I-Type 6
48Sam BirdMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
59Mitch EvansJaguarJaguar I-Type 6
617Norman NatoAndrettiPorsche 99X Electric Gen3
77Maximilian GuentherMaseratiMaserati Tipo Folgore
894Pascal WehrleinPorschePorsche 99X Electric Gen3
93Sergio Sette CamaraERTERT X24
104Robin FrijnsEnvisionJaguar I-Type 6
115Jake HughesMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
1216Sebastien BuemiEnvisionJaguar I-Type 6
1322Oliver RowlandMcLarenNissan e-4ORCE 04
142Stoffel VandoorneDS PenskeDS E-TENSE FE23
1548Edoardo MortaraMahindaMahindra M10Electro
1613Antonio Felix da CostaPorschePorsche 99X Electric Gen3
1721Nyck de VriesMahindaMahindra M10Electro
1851Nico MuellerAbt CupraMahindra M10Electro
1911Lucas di GrassiAbt CupraMahindra M9Electro
2018Jehan DaruvalaMaseratiMaserati Tipo Folgore
2133Dan TicktumERTERT X24
2223Sacha FenestrazNissanNissan e-4ORCE 04

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