Envision’s Nick Cassidy has won the Portland E-Prix ahead of title rival Jake Dennis after a hectic race in the United States of America, with Jake Dennis now holding only a point advantage at the top of the Driver’s Championship.
While the Portland International Speedway is more used to Indycar and Nascar racing, it was the turn of the all-electric World Championship to take to the circuit for the first E-Prix in the city.
Jake Dennis led his Avalanche Andretti away from the lead and remained there after a clean opening sector, with Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan) second and Rene Rast (NEOM McLaren) in third.
With the opening laps being reasonably clean, the first incident occurred on lap three as Robin Frijns had pieces of his car flying off after going off onto the grass at turn four, returning to the circuit in 12th place.
The old story of nobody wanting to lead a Formula E race was told once again as the pack started to back off to conserve energy, with Nick Cassidy (Envision) momentarily leading the race before diving into the attack mode zone, giving the race lead to Fenestraz, before Nato would take the lead as a yellow flag was being flown somewhere on the circuit, with the safety car coming out a short time later. This was due to Robert Mehri (Mahindra) stopping on the course and being unable to continue.
Front-row starter Fenestraz was forced into the pitlane to get his front wing replace as the field returned to racing, with Nato leading from Da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche) and Dennis.
Nico Muller had a big crash between the attack mode zone and the chicane and was out of the race unhurt. He came on the team radio and reported that it may have been an issue with the brakes of his ABT Cupra car.
The safety car was out once again with Cassidy leading from Gunther (Maserati MSG) and Nato, with Cassidy going back into the lead of the Championship if the result was taken from the standings at this point. However, as the safety car period was coming towards an end, Nato was allowed to pass Cassidy as he was actually in the lead at the time of the safety car, with several cars overtaking in the seconds afterwards.
After a strong restart, Nato dived over to the attack mode zone and dropped to third place, behind Cassidy and Da Costa.
Jean-Eric Vergne was the next driver to become a very expensive lawn mover as he darted across the grass as the same spot where Muller smashed into the wall. However, he was able to rejoin the pack and continue in the race.
Muller was given a five-second penalty for leaving the track, but with his car firmly destroyed by the wall, this will not affect his race at all after already retiring.
After the safety car periods, there were an additional four laps added to the end of the race.
Dennis pulled off a great move on Da Costa to take second place and almost ran around the outside and into the lead of the race before Da Costa was able to take back second place later in the lap.
But as the cars raced towards the chequered flag, it was Cassidy that took victory ahead of Dennis and Da Costa, to shake-up the order at the top of the Championship.