NEW YORK CITY – Nick Cassidy took a maiden Formula E race win in the New York City E-Prix, heading home ahead of Lucas di Grassi and teammate Robin Frijns as torrential rain deluged the track late in the race, creating the most dramatic finish of the season so far.
In the final 10 minutes of the scheduled 45-minute plus on lap race, a storm swept in with heavy rain buffeting the Brooklyn Street Circuit leaving pools of standing water in the braking zone to turn 6.
AfFull course yellow was called but Cassidy, di Grassi and Vandoorne, as well as Edoardo Mortara, couldn’t help but aquaplane straight on and into the wall. More drivers fell foul in impossible conditions as the race was brought to an early conclusion with a red flag.
Before the rain came, Nick Cassidy had started from pol for the first time and led from the front through both attack mode activations. Di Grassi and Frijns applied pressure from behind as the race headed towards its conclusion with the pair having deposed Vandoorne from second on lap 27 as the points race twisted and turned.
Drivers’ World Championship leader Mortara had also worked his way up to fifth with a late second attack mode, the Venturi driver having missed out on the Duels in qualifying, starting ninth.
The red flag meant the race result was decided on count back with finishing positions defined based on the lap prior to the one in which the stoppage was called, as per article 41.9 of the FIA sporting regulations. The ruling meant the race win went the way of an elated Cassidy, with di Grassi and Frijns rounding out the podium.
Vandoorne wasn’t able to capitalize on his starting grid advantage over Mortara, with the the Mercedes-EQ driver coming home in fifth but extending his Drivers’ World Championship lead to 13 points over Vandoorne. Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) managed just 11th and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) finished 18th, both outside the points.
That leaves ROKiT Venturi Racing at the top of the Teams’ World Championship standings, 23 points up on Mercedes-EQ which climbs above DS TECHEETAH.
It’s a busy night ahead for engineers in most of the team garages to prepare for Round 12 and the second race in the New York City E-Prix double header tomorrow.
The iconic Empire State Building was lit up in Formula E’s distinctive electric blue to mark the fifth year of the New York City E-Prix in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.