USA and Germany battle for lead in Formula E World Championship

Formula E heads stateside for a debut race in Portland, Oregon where the fight for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship title is heating up as only six points separate the top three drivers going into Round 12 of the 16-race season.

 

Driver Jake Dennis of US-based Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team will be going all out to overcome the one-point gap separating him and championship leader Pascal Wehrlein of TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team in the 2023 Southwire Portland E-Prix this Saturday.

 

Britain’s Dennis is sure to have the home crowd on his side and has consistently finished on the podium throughout Season 9 with one win and seven top-three finishes in the 11 races to date.

 

Long-time standings leader Wehrlein lost his top spot in Monaco but reclaimed his authority with a controlled victory the next time out in Round 10 in Jakarta, leading home his closest rival Dennis. That was his first win – and podium – since Round 3 in Diriyah while Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) hit a rich run of form, overcoming the German in the standings with a win in Monaco.

 

After maintaining the lead for several rounds, Cassidy now finds himself third in the standings, just five points back from second-place Dennis.

 

A disastrous weekend in Indonesia after back-to-back podiums in Monaco and Berlin just weeks before meant Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) fell out of the top-three in the standings with just 15 points from more than 50 on offer in the Jakarta double-header. Evans sits 19 points behind Cassidy but remains firmly in the championship picture.

 

In Rounds 11 and 12 one driver found himself at the top of every timed session in Jakarta, a first in Formula E history for Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Günther. The German driver clicked instantly with the circuit and dominated the timed sessions on the way to his first Julius Bär Pole Position.

 

He repeated this performance on Sunday with a second pole and secured a historic race win, becoming the only driver to win from pole in the past 14 races and sealing the first victory for Maserati in a world championship single seater race since the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio won at Nurburgring back in 1957.

 

NEW VENUE IN THE USA

 

Formula E is gearing up for a sixth visit to the United States of America with a debut race at the Portland International Raceway (PIR) and the 2023 Southwire Portland E-Prix.

 

The all-electric series has raced in America every season since its inception in 2014. From Miami to Long Beach to New York City, Formula E has introduced world class electric racing to all corners of the country. Heading to eco-friendly Portland in the Northwest, the net-zero championship is set to introduce a whole new set of potential fans to the leading global electric racing series, as well as its drive for clean, sustainable EV tech.

 

The Portland International Raceway is a familiar pitstop for American motorsport series such as IndyCar, and the layout has a history of providing some close battles. In 1997, the premier American single-seater series saw the closest three-way finish on a road course as Mark Blundell bested Gil de Ferran and Raul Boesel by half a tenth of a second.

 

The Raceway officially came into being back in the 1970s after several decades as a ruin. The track was established after wide-spread flooding destroyed an entire town, leaving behind nothing but roads that could be used only as a racetrack during Portland’s iconic Rose Festival.

 

The track became a home for professional motorsport in 1975 when the Trans-Am Series began competing at the track, and in the decades that followed, IndyCar and the NASCAR Truck Series followed suit. The track saw a significant slowdown in competition during the 2000s and 2010s, but it has since been revived as a coveted racing venue for IndyCar and the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the past few years. Now, Formula E is set to join the long list of prestigious series to hit Portland’s pavement, and the series is ready to make history as the track’s first all-electric race.

 

The track is one of the longest Formula E has ever raced on, measuring at 3.190km. The track differs slightly to that used in the IndyCar series with Formula E and the FIA choosing to add 20 metres to Turn One. This is one significant track change that is set to make this weekend’s race a thrilling watch.

 

WHEN TO WATCH

 

Free Practice 1 for the Southwire Portland E-Prix gets underway at 17:00 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Friday 23 June.

 

Free Practice 2 starts at 10:30 PDT on Saturday followed by qualifying from 12:40 PDT. Round 12 gets underway from 17:00 PDT.

 

FOLLOW LIVE!

 

Follow the action on-track as it happens in the new Race Centre. Keep across Live Timing – which includes a real-time interactive track map and the ability to follow drivers during every session of every E-Prix – plus highlights, detailed session reports, exclusive interviews, all the standings and results as well as data, insight and reaction from trackside.

 

WAYS TO WATCH

 

Find out how to follow the action live in every country by visiting: fiaformulae.com/en/ways-to-watch

 

USA: CBS will show Saturday’s race across their pay-tv platform, CBS Sports Network. Free Practice Sessions and Quali will be live on CBSSports.com as well as the CBS Sports App.

Adam Sinclair