Nick Cassidy won the Portland E-Prix on Saturday. (Formula E photo)
PORTLAND, Ore. — Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy won an enthralling Southwire Portland E-Prix by keeping Avalanche Andretti driver Jake Dennis at bay, propelling the pair to the top of the world championship standings.
Dennis now leads Cassidy by a single point.
“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,” Dennis said. “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.”
TAG Heuer Porsche’s António Félix da Costa finished third. A mere seven seconds split the first 17 cars at the flag.
Cassidy measured his race to perfection starting from 10th 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 Int’l 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 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 three, while da Costa clambered through the pack from 8th to pile the pressure on the Envision Racing driver right to the flag, but Cassidy held fast for a third win of season nine.
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 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 checkered 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 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 nine.