Envision Virgin Racing’s Nick Cassidy signed off in New York City with a second career podium as team-mate Frijns fought from 21st to 8th
Nick Cassidy capped another headline-grabbing weekend on the streets of New York City. With a pole position, a fourth place, and a sensational second place in Round 11, the New Zealander helped push Envision Virgin Racing to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship teams’ standings.
After coming within a few laps of winning Saturday’s Round 10, Cassidy made a great start from third on the grid, fighting the front-running Jaguar cars all race long and defending superbly from ex-champion António Félix da Costa during the final laps.
“I felt much stronger in the race today, but it wasn’t easy to maintain speed in the right places and overtake the Jaguars,” stated Cassidy. “I am pleased with how I have adapted to Formula E and to the car – I think I have made that transition quite quickly, but there are another 23 world class drivers here so it’s not easy! The team did a great job putting together a great package, we had very good speed and we managed to secure a podium, so I am really happy with that.”
Using his Attack Mode wisely to press second place man Mitch Evans, the two New Zealanders enjoyed a race-long duel which was joined by da Costa in the closing stages, forcing Cassidy to keep one eye on taking second place and another on not over consuming energy and dropping to fourth.
With just two minutes remaining in the race Cassidy’s hard work paid off as Evans suddenly brushed the wall and lost pace, handing the Envision Virgin Racing driver second place, which he doggedly held despite an intense challenge from da Costa.
Meanwhile, Cassidy’s Envision Virgin Racing team-mate Robin Frijns headed into the second race of the weekend in New York City as joint championship leader. He leaves the Big Apple still very much in contention after showing that he is proving to be a true title contender.
“The race felt good. I was being quite patient at the beginning, saving some energy and letting everybody fight – and they were fighting quite hard,” confirmed Frijns. “When everything started to settle out a bit, I used my energy to overtake people in front. In Formula E consistency is always key. So far, we haven’t had any technical issues with the car, so that has obviously helped. I’ve been quite consistent even though we haven’t won a race, but if I manage to win the championship without winning any races that’d still be a great result!”
The Dutch driver did well to avoid some lower field scraps in his remarkable progress which saw him advance an amazing 13 positions from 21st to 8th. There was some further good fortune for Frijns as championship rival Edoardo Mortara collided with Jake Dennis 15 minutes into the race and scored no points, leaving the drivers’ championship wide open with four races remaining and with Frijns trailing new leader Sam Bird by just five points.
For Envision Virgin Racing’s Managing Director & CTO Sylvain Filippi the return to Formula E competition in New York City ended on a positive note for the team, who now heads to London leading the team’s standings for another double header on home soil.
“It was another great drive from Nick today; he had good pace and was very tactical, so a very well-deserved podium for him and the team”, commented Filippi. “Robin also had a very solid pace and performed brilliantly; he fought hard to score points after a difficult qualifying and managed to keep his championship alive.
“Overall, we’ve had a very good weekend in New York, yet again. As ever in Formula E, every single point matters and we are thrilled to head to London leading the teams’ championship.”
Drivers’ standings (after Rd 11):
1. Sam Bird 81pts
2. António Félix da Costa, 76pts
3. Robin Frijns, 76pts
4. Edoardo Mortara, 72pts
5. Nick Cassidy, 70pts
Teams’ standings (after Rd 11):
1. Envision Virgin Racing, 146pts
2. DS Techeetah, 144pts
3. Jaguar Racing, 141pts
4. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 115pts
5. Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, 113pts