Bird wins first ever New York street race

Sam Bird took his first victory of the season in the inaugural New York ePrix, whilst Lucas Di Grassi closed the gap to championship rival Sebastien Buemi in his absence.

Bird, who started fourth, passed Jean-Eric Vergne on the opening lap of the race, but was stuck behind his rookie team-mate for a number of laps. He eventually found a way past Alex Lynn, who had taken pole in his first ever ePrix, and moved into second.

Daniel Abt had taken the lead of the race in the run to the first corner, but hadn’t been able to build up a gap. Bird was quickly on his tail, trying to find a way past. Meanwhile, Abt was struggling under braking, and the Virgin driver used this to his advantage. He passed Abt on the inside of the hairpin, taking first before the midrace pit stops.

Lynn couldn’t keep up. He dropped down the order to sixth before the pit stops, and struggled to manage the battery energy. He was fifth after the pit stops, but a drive shaft failure brought him to a stop on track.

Vergne passed Abt into second just before the car swap, and he was still on Bird’s tail in the second stint. He couldn’t find a way past his old team-mate, though. On the final lap of the race, he attempted a late lunge but it still didn’t put him past Bird. He finished second.

2-_J6I0158Abt looked set for third, his first podium of the season, but on the penultimate lap of the race he outbroke himself, allowing Stephane Sarrazin past. He almost made contact with team-mate Lucas Di Grassi as he rejoined the track and dropped down the order. He stopped on track after the last lap.

Sarrarzin took third, the first Techeetah double podium.

Behind him came Di Grassi.

The midrace car swap allowed him to jump up the order. He exited the pits sixth, but was passed by Felix Rosenqvist on the out lap. Close behind him was Nick Heidfeld, who suffered a slow stop. Not wanting to take too many risks, Di Grassi waited his time, putting pressure on Rosenqvist. It worked. The Mahindra driver locked up at the hairpin, span, and hit the wall. He was able to continue, but has to pit to replace a damaged rear wing.

1-_J6I9830Di Grassi moved up to fifth, where he finished. The finish puts him within 20 points of Sebastien Buemi.

Loic Duval took fifth, inheriting the place when something broke on Heidfeld’s car after he ran over the kerb.

Oliver Turvey took sixth, ahead of Pierre Gasly, who started 19th.

Both Renault e.dams suffered a difficult race. Nico Prost started in the middle of the pack, but dropped to the back after the opening lap. Together with Gasly, he made his way back up through the order, and finished eighth.

Robin Frijns took ninth, ahead of Adam Carroll.

Image credit: FIA Formula E Media


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