Sam Bird secures back to back wins at New York ePrix

Following the second race of the New York ePrix, Chris Soulsby looks at Sam Bird, who claimed the win for DS Virgin Racing.

For the second time this weekend, Formula E returned for the New York ePrix. Race 1 saw Alex Lynn start from pole, and Sam Bird come through to take the win. Bird’s dominance Race 1 continued into Super Pole 2 qualifying, where he claimed pole position for DS Virgin Racing.

Sam Bird secures back to back wins at New York ePrix

When the lights went out for the race, Bird dropped down to second place in the first corner when Felix Rosenqvist got the jump on him for Mahindra Racing. Jean Eric Vergne followed the leaders in third followed by Nick Heidfeld in fourth and Pierre Gasly in fifth.

Vergne was then handed a drive through penalty which promoted Hiedfeld up into the podium positions. Heidfeld was then the fastest man out on track when he set multiple fastest laps, closing up the gap to Bird and extending his lead from Gasly.

When Mitch Evans stopped out on track on lap 7, the full course yellow was deployed on lap 9 to remove the stricken Jaguar car out of danger. The green flag then waved on lap 10 and there was quickly a lead change when Sam Bird performed a diving move on Rosenqvist in turn 6 for first place while Heidfeld tried to follow the Brit through.

Lucas Di Grassi was the man on the move from lap 14, overtaking Tom Dillmann for sixth and then Oliver Turvey for fifth place. It then became clear that Turvey was a man with an issue when he started falling through the field quickly, being passed by Nico Prost, Dillmann, Stephane Sarrazin, Jerome D’Ambrosio, and Jean Eric Vergne in quick succession.

There was then a second full course yellow on lap 22 when Alex Lynn stopped out on track, marking a double DNF for DS Virgin Racing’s reserve driver. Under the full course yellow, the field pitted apart from Bird, Sarrazin, Vergne, and Robin Frijns. Bird then pitted one lap later to rejoin in first place just before the course went green once again. By pitting one lap after Bird, Techeetah made a major strategy error, with its drivers dropping out of the points and rejoining at the back of the field.

There was then a change at the front of the field when Heidfeld passed Rosenqvist for second place while there was also multiple changes in position in the midfield, with Loic Duval overtaking Antonio Felix da Costa for eighth and D’Ambrosio following through. Vergne also began to recover from Techeetah’s strategy error to overtake Adam Carroll while D’Ambrosio overtook his Faraday Future Dragon Racing team mate, Loic Duval. Da Costa then launched an attack on Tom Dillmann only to clip him and be slapped with a penalty.

In the closing stages, Felix Rosenqvist pushed hard to take back second from Heidfeld out on track, although the overtake looked choreographed so Rosenqvist could maximise his points intake.

On the final lap, Sam Bird crossed the line to claim the win for DS Virgin Racing while Rosenqvist finished in second and Heidfeld in third. In the closing stages, Pierre Gasly tried to overtake Heidfeld to secure a podium finish in only his second Formula E race, however hit the wall instead but held onto fourth place.

Lucas Di Grassi secured a fifth place finish after starting in ninth while Nico Prost secured a sixth place finish for Renault e.dams. Tom Dillmann finished in seventh followed by Jean Eric Vergne in eighth, Robin Frijns in ninth, and Jerome D’Ambrosio in tenth.

Through this result, Lucas Di Grassi has closed the gap to Sebastien Buemi to ten points in the Drivers’ Championship. This means that the championship fight goes on and will be settled in the final race weekend of the season in Montreal, Canada. With Buemi returning to the grid in two weeks however, the battle will be closely fought as he tries to secure a second consecutive championship and Di Grassi tries to claim his first.

Results from the New York ePrix Race 2:

  1. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, 25 points
  2. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, 18 points
  3. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, 15 points
  4. Pierre Gasly, Renault e.dams, 12 points
  5. Lucas Di Grassi, Abt Schaffler Audi Sport, 10 points
  6. Nico Prost, Renault e.dams, 8 points
  7. Tom Dillmann, Venturi Formula E, 6 points
  8. Jean Eric Vergne, Techeetah, 4 points
  9. Robin Frijns, Andretti Formula E, 2 points
  10. Jerome D’ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, 1 point
  11. Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 0 points
  12. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi Formula E, 0 points
  13. Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing, 0 points
  14. Oliver Turvey, Nextev Nio, 0 points
  15. Antonio Felix Da Costa, Andretti Formula E, 0 points
  16. Nelson Piquet Jr, Nextev Nio, 0 points
  17. Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E, Ret
  18. Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, Ret
  19. Daniel Abt, Abt Schaffler Audi Sport, Ret
  20. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Ret

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