Here are five things we learned on our first trip to Portland

Cassidy is a master of strategy

Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy took his third win of the season and is now one point behind Jake Dennis’ Avalanche Andretti, who leads the championship fight. After a point-less run in Jakarta, the race around Portland International Raceway will undoubtedly be a welcome points haul as he hunts for his first Formula E title.

From 10th on the grid, Cassidy again played a masterful game of racing chess to make up a few positions in the first few laps. From there, he progressed through the pack and found himself in the lead past his rivals. Although he narrowly lost it to the TAG Heuer Porsche of Antonio Félix da Costa, he stayed calm and clawed his way back to win the race.

„It was close,” Cassidy said of the battle with Da Costa and Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti). „The guys we’re racing with, they’re top notch. Jake was the highlight today and he did a fantastic job qualifying. Antonio, in these races, he’s always fantastic. It’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.”

Andretti draws the home crowd

This weekend, Avalanche Andretti is a fan favorite, an all-electric American team. Jack reached his first Julius Baer status of the season by defeating Nissan’s Sacha Fenestras in the tennis duels final. What a time to do it – especially with the big boss Michael Andretti in the house!

Dennis was able to regain the championship lead before the start of the E-Prix – thanks to the three points awarded by pole – but he was unable to convert his top grid slot into another victory.

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„I think it was unfortunate that Jake started on pole, to be honest,” race winner Cassidy admitted after the race. „There’s not a race to do that today.”

Nevertheless, a brave move by da Costa in the final lap of the race gifted Dennis his third consecutive second place and he maintained his lead in the drivers’ world championships when they travel to Rome next month.

A record-breaking weekend

On a Portland weekend, it’s no secret that this permanent facility can build a fast pace. However, it only took the first practice session to break all sorts of records around the 3.221 km circuit.

NEOM McLaren’s Rene Rast finished FP1 fastest, having not finished in the top five in any practice session this season, and set a time of 1m09.054s. In doing so, Rast became the first driver to break Sacha Fenestras’ all-time Formula E average speed record. It didn’t stop there as Edoardo Mortara (Maserati MSG Racing) recorded the first 100 mph average lap in Formula E history.

Mitch Evans’ Jaguar TCS Racing hit a top speed of 276.6 km/h (171.9 mph) on his final flying lap, while teammate Sam Bird became the first driver to break the 275 km/h mark. For the first time in Formula E history.

Mahindra on points again

It has been a very turbulent year for the Mahindra Racing team. Their season got off to a fantastic start when Lucas di Grassi took pole position and third place in Mexico City. However, as GEN3 evolved, the team hit several bumps in the road. From pulling out of the E-Prix in Cape Town due to suspension issues, to their long-time driver Oliver Rolland mutually agreeing to quit Mahindra Racing after Monaco, it has been a rollercoaster for the Indian team.

However, Portland was good for them as Di Grassi’s Mexico returned to the points for the first time 11 rounds ago! While Mahindra has accumulated more points throughout the year, including a 10th place finish in Hyderabad at Rolland and Berlin, it still has solid points with Di Grassi finishing seventh.

The race is good wherever we go

Formula E returned to a permanent racing facility this weekend, with all 22 cars transported to Portland International Raceway. Previously used to host IndyCar and NASCAR races, this is a circuit with a lot of character and a stark contrast to the tight and twisty street circuits we usually see.

Southwire had a spectacular run of the championship with 403 overtakes tallied throughout the Portland E-Prix. The sold-out crowd certainly opened their arms to Formula E and were treated to some brilliant and daring overtaking, as well as some high-speed racing.

While most of Formula E’s races are held in city centers and temporary tracks, Portland shows that the championship can put on a show wherever it goes!

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