Nick Cassidy held off title rival Jake Dennis and Antonio Felix da Costa to win another frantic Formula E race in Portland.
The Envision driver claimed his third win of the season less than a second ahead of Dennis, who moved back into the lead of the championship by a single point over the race winner. Da Costa finished third, while former championship leader Pascal Wehrlein scored just two points in ninth.
Prior to the race, the two DS Penske cars of Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne were condemned to a pit lane start after their team were discovered to have installed RFID scanning hardware at pit entry that allowed them to collect data from other cars. The team were also fined €25,000 for the offence.
At the start, pole winner Jake Dennis leapt out into the lead with Sascha Fenestraz slotting into second place while Rene Rast moved past Norman Nato into third. Rast fell down the order over the opening laps as Nato moved up back by him and then Nissan team mate Fenestraz, while Antonio Felix da Costa and Nick Cassidy also joined the mix at the front of the field.
Dennis was eager to allow another car through into the lead to try and save energy and Nato eventually took the lead as his team mate took Attack Mode for the first time. Robin Frijns suffered front wing damage that caused him to dropped down the order, then Roberto Merhi stopped on track with a problem around the back end of the circuit, bringing out the Safety Car onto the circuit.
Nato led under the Safety Car with Da Costa in second, Dennis third and Cassidy in fourth. The race restarted at the start of lap eight, with the top seven drivers all taking Attack Mode on the first racing lap, allowing Nato to retain the lead ahead of Da Costa and Dennis.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Cassidy took his second Attack Mode on lap ten and used his extra power to move by Nato into the lead as Maximilian Guenther took second place in the Maserati. Back in the pack, Nico Muller suffered a high-speed off on the back straight, spearing off the track and over the grass into the wall and then coming to rest sideways over the track. The Abt Cupra driver complained of losing his brakes over team radio and climbed out of his car unaided, but the Safety Car was deployed for a second time to enable his car to be cleared.
Cassidy held the lead having used up all of his Attack Mode with Nato in second and the two Maseratis of Guenther and Edoardo Mortara in third and fourth. However, during the extended Safety Car period, race control determined that Nato had been ahead of Cassidy on the track when the Safety Car has initially deployed and directed Cassidy to allow the Nissan by through the lead. He obliged and Nato led the field to the restart at the start of lap 17 ahead of Cassidy and Guenther.
Nato immediately took Attack Mode the first time by and Cassidy retook the lead he’d been asked to surrender, Nato dropping to third behind Da Costa. Despite his extra power, Nato fell down to the mid pack as Sam Bird moved up the order to sit in third behind Cassidy and Da Costa.
Cassidy continued to lead until lap 25 when Da Costa moved through into first place. Due to the many laps under Safety Car, four additional laps were added on top of the original 28 scheduled. Despite the added race distance, the leaders had saved enough energy to allow them to pick up the pace with the field beginning to spread out.
Cassidy took the lead back from Da Costa while Dennis in third passed the Porsche driver around the outside of turn two to take second. Da Costa battled back to retake second and then claimed the lead from Cassidy briefly before the Envision driver took it back into turn one.
Heading into the final lap, Cassidy lead from Da Costa and Dennis and defended hard into turn one. Cassidy pulled a gap from the two behind as Dennis got ahead of Da Costa along the back straight. Dennis tried to chase down Cassidy over the line but ran out of road along the pit straight and Cassidy took the chequered flag for the third time this season.
With Dennis taking second, he moves back into the lead of the championship for the first time since the second round in Diriyah. Da Costa took third ahead of Mitch Evans and Sebastian Buemi in fifth. Guenther finished sixth ahead of Bird in seventh and Lucas di Grassi in eighth.
Previous championship leader Pascal Wehrlein could only manage ninth after failing to be a factor in the fight at the front all race with Nato claiming the final point in tenth place.
Just four races remain in the season over the final two rounds in Roma and London. Both will be contested over the course of next month.
2023 Portland Eprix race results
|1||37||Nick Cassidy||Envision||Jaguar I-Type 6|
|2||27||Jake Dennis||Andretti||Porsche 99X Electric Gen3|
|3||13||Antonio Felix da Costa||Porsche||Porsche 99X Electric Gen3|
|4||9||Mitch Evans||Jaguar||Jaguar I-Type 6|
|5||16||Sebastien Buemi||Envision||Jaguar I-Type 6|
|6||7||Maximilian Guenther||Maserati||Maserati Tipo Folgore|
|7||10||Sam Bird||Jaguar||Jaguar I-Type 6|
|8||11||Lucas di Grassi||Mahindra||Mahindra M9Electro|
|9||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Porsche||Porsche 99X Electric Gen3|
|10||17||Norman Nato||Nissan||Nissan e-4ORCE 04|
|11||4||Robin Frijns||Abt Cupra||Mahindra M9Electro|
|12||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||DS Penske||DS E-TENSE FE23|
|13||1||Stoffel Vandoorne||DS Penske||DS E-TENSE FE23|
|14||33||Dan Ticktum||NIO 333||NIO 333 ER9|
|15||58||Rene Rast||McLaren||Nissan e-4ORCE 04|
|16||23||Sacha Fenestraz||Nissan||Nissan e-4ORCE 04|
|17||3||Sergio Sette Camara||NIO 333||NIO 333 ER9|
|18||5||Jake Hughes||McLaren||Nissan e-4ORCE 04|
|19||36||Andre Lotterer||Andretti||Porsche 99X Electric Gen3|
|20||48||Edoardo Mortara||Maserati||Maserati Tipo Folgore|
|21||51||Nico Mueller||Abt Cupra||Mahindra M9Electro|
|22||8||Oliver Rowland||Mahindra||Mahindra M9Electro|
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and