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Da Costa triumphs after late drama sees Cassidy lose victory

Written by Vyas Ponnuri


Antonio Felix Da Costa secured victory at Portland, his third victory in four races, after keeping his cool and being in the right place at the right time to secure victory, after late drama saw race leader Nick Cassidy crack under pressure and spin, costing him a massive haul of points.


Mitch Evans, who took victory on the road, was demoted to eighth due to a five-second penalty for a collision with Jake Hughes earlier in the race. Da Costa took victory for the third consecutive weekend, as he attempted a late bid at challenging for the championship.


Behind him, it would be Robin Frijns and Jean-Eric Vergne finishing on the podium for the first time since Diriyah, for Envision Racing and DS Penske respectively. It would also be a special podium for the Frenchman, coming on home soil for the team.


Edoardo Mortara and Nico Muller finished fourth and fifth for Mahindra and ABT Cupra respectively, taking valuable points finishes to aid their teams' charge in the championship.


Andretti's Jake Dennis was the highest placed championship contender, finishing sixth, ahead of Sam Bird's NEOM McLaren in seventh, while Evans was left to salvage eighth. Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the points after an exciting 27 laps of running in Portland.


A crucial win for Da Costa for his Formula E future, as he seeks to stake his claim for a seat at Porsche for 2025, and here's how he charted his path to victory, in another peloton-style Formula E outing.


AS IT UNFOLDED

Evans started from pole position for round 13 at Portland, outqualifying Shanghai pole-sitter Hughes during the qualifying session earlier today. Would Evans convert his pole into victory, in what was expected to be a high energy consumption race?


As the five lights went out for the 27-lap race, Hughes managed to take the lead from Evans heading into the infield section, while the two TAG Heuer Porsche drivers Da Costa and Wehrlein formed a two-pronged attack to move up towards the top ten.


Sebastian Buemi would serve his drive-through penalty on lap two, having changed components during free practice sessions on Friday, dropping down to last on the road.


With drivers looking to conserve energy, the race petered out into drivers swapping for the lead, with Norman Nato taking the lead for Andretti onto lap five. Elsewhere, Hughes would battle it out with Dennis into the chicane of turns 10 and 11 on lap five, with the former coming off worse as he was shuffled onto the grass. The McLaren driver would rejoin second last on the road, pitting on lap seven to change tyres.


The drivers would be jostling for the race lead as the race hit one-third distance, with two names battling to secure a strong result towards the end of the season: Buemi's teammate Robin Frijns and Nissan's Sacha Fenestraz. Both drivers were eyeing a podium to round out their seasons with silverware and confidence heading into season eleven.


Another driver looking to make up ground was Nick Cassidy. The championship leader, sitting 12th at one point, would find himself in the lead very soon, before dropping back to sixth in a bid to conserve energy.


Halfway into the race, it was Nico Muller leading in the ABT Cupra, a lofty position for the team who haven't found much success this season, before Frijns retook the lead. Another lead change would see Edoardo Mortara lead for a short duration.


Evans would be slapped a five-second penalty, having been at fault for his collision with Hughes before the McLaren driver took to the run-off. With the field so closely bunched up, this could cost him a strong result at the end of the race, and hamper his championship bid.


Another lead change on lap 17 would see Jean-Eric Vergne take the lead for DS Penske in the team's home race, while Fenestraz went straight on at the turn one chicane, having been forced to wait for the entire grid to pass before he could rejoin. The French-Argentine racer would drop down to the rear of the field, as a result.


It would be go-time with eight laps to go, as Cassidy, now in the lead, would find himself chased by Da Costa and Evans, the trio expected to be firmly in the fight for victory. Elsewhere, Cassidy would defend Da Costa going into turn 10 on lap 21, while a slight moment of oversteer momentarily causing him to lose out to Edoardo Mortara's Mahindra, the Swissman having a strong stateside race.


A late incident between Maserati MSG's Jehan Daruvala and Nissan debutant Caio Collet caused a brief yellow flag at turn one on lap 23, the Indian being spun around, before continuing.


With three laps to go, the race wouldn't have any added laps, as there were no safety car interventions. Cassidy would lead from Evans, the latter having a five-second time penalty hanging over his head. But there would be late drama on the way to the final lap.


Going wide into the turn 10 and 11 chicane on the penultimate lap, Cassidy would be on the wrong racing line heading into the chicane, and went deep into turn 11. Attempting to stay on track, he veered off wide, into the grass, the Jaguar spinning into the run off area. And just like that, a 1-2 finish had just slipped out of the British team's hands.


Heading onto the final lap, Evans did all he could to minimise the damage, but this wouldn't stop Da Costa from taking a third win in four races. A stellar run of form for the Porsche driver, although it appears to be too little too late for the Portuguese driver to mount a championship charge.


Frijns and Vergne would take excellent results for Envision Racing and DS Penske respectively, while Mortara finished an exceptional fourth for Mahindra Racing, taking their best result of the season so far.


Here are the final results from round 13 at Portland:


  1. Antonio Felix Da Costa (TAG Heuer Porsche)

  2. Robin Frijns (Envision Racing)

  3. Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske)

  4. Edoardo Mortara (Mahindra Racing)

  5. Nico Muller (ABT Cupra)

  6. Jake Dennis (Andretti Formula E Team)

  7. Sam Bird (NEOM McLaren Formula E Team)

  8. Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing)

  9. Stoffel Vandoorne (DS Penske)

  10. Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche)

  11. Lucas Di Grassi (ABT Cupra)

  12. Nyck de Vries (Mahindra Racing)

  13. Norman Nato (Andretti Formula E Team)

  14. Sergio Sette Camara (ERT Formula E Team)

  15. Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan Formula E Team)

  16. Jehan Daruvala (Maserati MSG)

  17. Dan Ticktum (ERT Formula E Team)

  18. Caio Collet (Nissan Formula E Team)

  19. Nick Cassidy (Jaguar TCS Racing)

  20. Sebastian Buemi (Envision Racing)

  21. Jake Hughes (NEOM McLaren)

  22. Max Gunther (Maserati MSG) - DNF


The drivers standings are as follows after round 13:


  1. Nick Cassidy - Jaguar TCS Racing - 167 points

  2. Pascal Wehrlein - TAG Heuer Porsche - 143 points

  3. Mitch Evans - Jaguar TCS Racing - 140 points

  4. Oliver Rowland - Nissan Formula E Team - 131 points

  5. Jake Dennis - Andretti Formula E Team - 121 points


The constructors standings are as follows after round 13:

  1. Jaguar TCS Racing - 307 points

  2. TAG Heuer Porsche - 252 points

  3. DS Penske - 171 points

  4. Andretti Formula E Team - 161 points

  5. Nissan Formula E Team - 152 points



That's it from an action-packed round 13 at Portland, then. Do tune in tomorrow for round 14, as Formula E returns to the Portland International Raceway for one final time.

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