ROME, July 15 (Reuters) – Jaguar’s Mitch Evans overcame his first defeat in two Formula E races in Rome on Saturday as fellow New Zealander Nick Cassidy regained the overall lead in the Electric Championship for Envision Racing.
Evans started on pole position and beat second-placed Cassidy by 1.6 seconds with Maserati’s Maximilian Günther third in the manufacturer’s home race.
The Jaguar driver’s fourth career victory on the streets of the Italian capital, and third of the season, pushed him further into the title reckoning with three races remaining.
Cassidy now has 171 points, ahead of previous overall leader Andretti driver Jake Dennis with 166 points and Evans in third with 151 points.
Only 27 points separate the top four, with Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein on 144 points.
The race was red-flagged on lap nine after Jaguar’s Sam Bird, who shared the early lead with Evans on the front row, lost control at turn six and spun.
Bird’s car was hit by Envision’s Sebastien Buemi, who tried to avoid the incident while DS Peske’s Stoffel Vandoorne crashed and Maserati’s Edoardo Mortara crashed hard into the Jaguar.
Other cars were also involved in the mayhem, with 14 drivers able to restart after long breaks and none of the others injured.
„We almost had two races today,” said Evans, the first driver to win from pole in Rome. „Of course Sam had a terrible moment and it’s great to see everyone OK.
„A big result today, maximum points, which is what I needed. Just a small dent in Nick’s lead, but it’s better than nothing.”
McLaren’s Jake Hughes was unable to start the race after failing in qualifying.
The second race of the doubleheader takes place on Sunday.
Alan Baldwin reports in London; Editing by Mike Harrison
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