Rene Rast tops the opening practice of Portland E-Prix

Rene Rast tops the opening practice of Portland E-Prix

René Rast set the quickest average lap and greatest top-speed records during the opening practice session of the inaugural Portland E-Prix.

All of the drivers were eager to get on the circuit right away due to the fact that Portland International Raceway is the fourth brand-new location for the 2022–23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Given that the E-Prix will be held on a real circuit rather than a street track, this weekend is sure to be exceptional.

Rast was the first driver to take the green flag on the track, which has previously hosted events like the IndyCar and NASCAR. Interestingly, since preseason testing in Valencia, Formula E hasn’t visited a regular circuit until this weekend’s trip to the United States.

Given that the course is unusual for FE, the timesheets may have a few unexpected names at the top.

All of the drivers were obviously getting a feel for the circuit in the first ten minutes, but it was soon obvious that records would be shattered. The FE record for the fastest average speed throughout a lap was broken by several drivers, highlighting how fast the weekend will be.

Edoardo Mortara was the first to record the fastest lap, averaging over a hundred miles per hour. At the last turn, André Lotterer ran onto the grass at that time to prevent a crash.

With just a second separating the top eighteen, Rast led the timing charts in the early going with a time of 1:10.871. However, Jake Dennis went into first place halfway through the practice and with 14 minutes left Lottererwho is Dennis’ teammate in the Avalanche Andretti Formula E, climbed up to fourth.

The Formula E top-speed record was broken with thirteen minutes left when rookie Roberto Merhi reached 170 mph. Merhi’s teammate Lucas di Grassi rose to the top of the standings while he was preoccupied with that. The Brazilian driver continued to hold the top spot as the weekend’s first practice session entered its final ten minutes.

Di Grassi had been replaced at the top with nine minutes left by reigning World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne who had surpassed Di Grassi in speed and was now approaching the mid-1:09s.

Vandoorne took first place by little over a tenth after setting a 1:09.644 to beat Mortara and Di Grassi. In the final five minutes of the session, the DS Penske driver was still faster than Mitch Evans and Di Grassi. Evans set a new FE top-speed record after nearly reaching 107.22 mph.

Eventually, Vandoorne’s teammate Jean-Éric Vergne overtook him as the fastest driver in the practice after setting an impressive time of 1:09.226 to lead by four tenths.

If Vergne wants to continue contending for the title, he needs to have the best weekend possible in Portland. The “King of Jakarta,” Maximilian Günther edged British driver Dan Ticktum for second place with just over a minute still to go.

Sébastian Buemi, who leaped out of his car before the session was up had not made any progress. However the race resumed and the chequered flag was raised and Rast who had produced an impressive time of 1:09.054 came back to the top.

The German took first place in the round, followed by Vergne, Ticktum, Sam Bird, and Günther.

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