Nick Cassidy wins inaugural Portland E-Prix

Nick Cassidy wins inaugural Portland E-Prix

Nick Cassidy won the inaugural Portland E-Prix marking his third win in the 2022–23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship by mastering the peloton-style racing.

Cassidy had a difficult weekend at the Portland International Raceway as he had trouble keeping up with the rest of the field. He had a lot to do throughout the race because he was only able to place tenth in qualifying.

But just as in Berlin and Monaco, the Kiwi gradually took the lead before timing a last burst of speed perfectly. He once again managed to conserve enough energy to pick up the pace towards the finish line, surprising many ahead of him.

With his victory, Cassidy was able to more than make up for his Jakarta mishaps and move up to second place in the Drivers’ Championship, just one point behind Jake Dennis.

Cassidy’s performance has also helped Envision Racing, which is only six points behind TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team heading to Rome thanks to Cassidy.

After the race, Cassidy congratulated his crew and Jaguar for providing an unbelievable package, and he appeared to be in love with his car.

Jake Dennis took the lead early on in the sold-out inaugural race of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Portland in front of a sizable audience of more than 20,000 spectators after starting in Julius Bär Pole Position. Rene Rast, Norman Nato, Jake Hughes, and Sacha Denestraz made up the top 6, following the race’s early leader.

The Safety Car was brought out on Lap 4 as Roberto Mehri’s Mahindra came to a standstill on the circuit due to mechanical issues and required recovery.

Three laps later when the race resumed Nato was in the lead, followed by da Costa and Dennis. Several drivers ran through the attack zone on the first lap after the safety car interruption, including the front-running quartet of Cassidy, Rast, Maximilian Guenther, and Nico Mueller.

With the notable exception of Cassidy and Mueller, who both chose to use a six-minute assault mode, everybody else chose a two-minute power increase. Interestingly, Nato kept the lead from da Costa while Dennis slipped to P7 as many drivers switched to attack mode.

On lap 10, Da Costa activated the attack mode for a 6-minute power boost, but he made the wrong decision when Mueller crashed out just a few seconds after. The Swiss driver reported “no more brakes” when he rocketed off the track at high speed and collided with the barriers at Turn 10 at a 27G force.

Considering how long it took to clear the track, the action picked back up seven laps later. After the delay, Nato was in the lead followed by Cassidy, Guenther, Mortara, da Costa, Dennis, Rast, di Grassi, and Ticktum. Wehrlein, who is currently in first place in the standings rounded out the top 10.

Oddly, after the safety car intervention drivers were keen to use their power increase once more on the very first lap.

Two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne, who was holding onto P10, skidded through the grass and gravel at Turn 10. but he was able to recover his car and bring it back to the track successfully.

The two Maserati and Jaguar cars made significant progress in the meantime, with Guenther and Mortara taking P2 and P7 with Sam Bird and Mitch Evans moving up the order to take P4 and P6 respectively.

Porsche’s da Costa used his additional energy on lap 22 to overtake the leader and move to the front. After that point, the Season 6 champion began to extend his lead and pull away from Cassidy.

Vergne was anxious to target Guenther as the race entered its closing stages after he recovered from his foray into the grass by moving up the pack and returning to P4. Da Costa, who was at the front of the pack was unable to maintain the lead he had earlier established as Cassidy pulled up on him.

The race direction confirmed in a statement that the racing will be extended by four laps due to the lengthy safety car stoppage with four laps remaining in the race.

On the 28th lap, Cassidy overtook da Costa once more,as Dennis additionally passed the former Formula E champion. As he attempted to take the lead, the British driver showed excellent late-race pace. Da Costa on the other hand was able to battle back and retake P2 from the Avalanche Andretti driver.

Evans showed his desire to join the struggle for the lead on his 29th birthday. The leading three including Cassidy, da Costa and Dennis were able to get away from the trailing group on the penultimate lap, with Dennis passing da Costa midway through the lap.

The British driver was able to draw closer to the New-Zealender as they neared the final sector given that he had 1% more energy than Cassidy, the leader of the race. Cassidy was able to maintain the advantage claiming his third victory in Season 9.

With eighth on the grid and eventually seventh for Mahindra, Lucas di Grassi earned his first points since his podium finish in Mexico in January. With Robin Frijns driving for Mahindra’s customer team Abt Cupra earning a point for tenth place finish

DS Penskes had to start from the pitlane as part of the team’s punishment for putting a scanning device in the pit entry to obtain what the officials characterized as “live data” from competitors’ cars—even though the team claimed this was restricted to tyre barcodes.

Jean-Eric Vergne managed to briefly enter the top five, but both he and Stoffel Vandoorne were notably low on energy as the race came down to the wire. They slipped to positions 11 and 12.

After doing exceptionally well in qualifying, the Nissans once again struggled throughout the race. But for front-row starter Sacha Fenestraz, this was more due to colliding with teammate Norman Nato and breaking his front wing than to low energy efficiency.

The best Nissan was Nato who consistently took the lead early on. Fenestraz finished 15th, and customer team McLaren dropped from the top six qualifying places to 14th (Rene Rast) and 18th (Jake Hughes).

Pascal Wehrlein relinquished his championship lead to Dennis as Season 9’s last leg drew near, and Dennis currently sits ahead of Cassidy in the standings with 154 and 153 points respectively. Third place with 136 points is held by Porsche’s German driver.

Ahead of the doubleheader season finale in London, the next event on the calendar is the Rome E Prix which will include two races on July 15 and 16.

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