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Nick Cassidy in his green Envision Racing car driving past a sign that says "Attack mode"

Cassidy wins strange Portland E-Prix

Nick Cassidy takes the Formula E championship lead after a victory in a strange inaugural Portland E-Prix. 

With slipstreaming crucial for energy management on the American circuit, the Portland E-Prix was a race nobody wanted to lead until the final laps. Unlike past races, however, drivers were less willing to take a turn at the front of the order, leading to the entire field becoming bunched together for the duration of the race. 

Pole sitter Jake Dennis held the lead off the line, but dropped back behind Nick Cassidy early on. Cassidy then dropped down the order as he took Attack Mode moments before the safety car was brought out. 

At the back of the field, Roberto Merhi had suffered a spin and was unable to get going. 

On the restart, most of the front runners took Attack Mode for the first time, while Cassidy dived through the activation zone to start his second round of the extra power. 

Before they could make much use of the extra power, the safety car was brought out for a second time. Nico Mueller, who had dropped to the back of the pack with damage early on, ran into the barriers at high speed. He reported a brake problem and was unable to slow down. 

As the safety car came out, the field was still bunched together, with some cars running four wide. The shuffling that took place to get into a single-file order caused the safety car period to be extended as race control tried to reestablish the order that the field had been in when it was called out. 

Nato was at the front of the field on the restart, with Cassidy running second. 

Attack mode for Nato promoted Cassidy back to the front of the order. It wasn’t a position Cassidy wanted to be in, though nobody else was willing to take it from him. He led Antonio Felix Da Costa for much of the second half of the race before the Porsche driver came through to take the race lead. 

In the closing laps, the field began to stretch out a little, but there was still a close battle at the front of the order. Dennis joined Cassidy and Da Costa in the fight for the race lead, almost getting through to P1, but he would have to settle for second from Cassidy, 0.294s back at the chequered flag. 

Da Costa finished third ahead of Mitch Evans, who enjoyed a good recovery drive after he was unable to take part in qualifying. 

Sebastien Buemi took fifth, just ahead of Maximilian Guenther and Sam Bird. 

Lucas Di Grassi, Pascal Wehrlein and Norman Nato completed the top 10. 

Bethonie Waring

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