Formula E: Sam Bird Victorious in New York Opener

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Sam Bird claimed victory in the opening Formula E race of the weekend in New York, with the Techeetah duo of Jean-Eric Vergne and Stephane Sarrazin completing the podium.

Lucas Di Grassi claimed fourth in title rival Sebastian Buemi’s absence as the latter races for Toyota at the Nurburgring in the World Endurance Championship, thinning the Frenchman’s title advantage to 20 points.

Pole position went to Bird’s rookie team-mate Alex Lynn, but the Brit was bested by Daniel Abt on the run down to the first corner, before relinquishing Bird to chase after the German at a quarter distance.

Seven laps later, Bird scythed his way past the Audi Schaeffeler Sport driver in the decisive moment for the race lead, whilst Lynn dropped back to fifth before his first pit stop and retired with a driveshaft failure later on.

A potential double points finish for Mahindra went begging after Felix Rosenqvist spun backwards into the barriers under pressure from Di Grassi, and team-mate Heidfeld retired late on with a broken right-rear push rod.

Heidfeld’s retirement caused the safety car to make a late appearance, bringing the field together for a two-lap sprint with Bird and Vergne at the head of the field.

The DS Virgin driver soaked up the pressure, however, taking a controlled victory to throw himself into contention for third in the championship standings.

Abt lost the final spot on the podium on the final lap, with Sarrazin capitalising on a mechanical problem to take third at the first turn, before Abt nearly crashed into team-mate Di Grassi whilst re-joining the circuit.

Loic Duval claimed fifth as a result for Faraday Future Dragon Racing, with Oliver Turvey sixth ahead of debutante Pierre Gasly, Buemi’s stand-in for New York at Renault e.dams.

His team-mate Nico Prost came eighth, with Robin Frijns and Adam Carroll rounding out the points for Andretti and Jaguar.

The final race at the penultimate Formula E meeting of Season Three gets underway at 18:00 BST this afternoon.

FIA New York ePrix – Result (43 laps):

Pos. Name Team Gap
1 Sam BIRD DS Virgin Racing  
2 Jean-Eric VERGNE Techeetah +1.354s
3 Stephane SARRAZIN Techeetah +4.392s
4 Lucas DI GRASSI Abt Audi Schaeffler Sport +6.155s
5 Loic DUVAL Faraday Future Dragon Racing +8.428s
6 Oliver TURVEY NEXTEV NIO +8.952s
7 Pierre GASLY Renault e.dams +9.321s
8 Nicolas PROST Renault e.dams +10.036s
9 Robin FRIJNS Andretti Formula E +11.019s
10 Adam CARROLL Panasonic Jaguar Racing +12.073s
11 Nelson PIQUET JR NEXTEV NIO +12.977s
12 Antonio FELIX DA COSTA Andretti Formula E +13.341s
13 Tom DILLMAN Venturi Formula E Team +16.337s
14 Daniel ABT Abt Audi Schaeffler Sport +18.579s
15 Felix ROSENQVIST Mahindra Racing +1 lap
16 Nick HEIDFELD Mahindra Racing +7 laps
17 Maro ENGEL Venturi Formula E Team +13 laps
18 Alex LYNN DS Virgin Racing +19 laps
19 Jerome D’AMBROSIO Faraday Future Dragon Racing +20 laps
20 Mitch EVANS Panasonic Jaguar Racing +25 laps
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Sport Editor at the Wessex Scene. Often found in the racing paddocks of the UK as a freelance national motorsport journalist or PR. Self-titled comedic genius, notorious wearer of Union-branded clothing.

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