Envision Racing head back to the USA in search of more success

All eyes will be on the Pacific Northwest and the Portland E-Prix for the penultimate race meeting of the year

After spectacularly winning the Teams’ Championship last season, the 2023–24 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has been a tough one for Envision Racing. Despite this, there were certainly some positives that could be taken from the last two races in China, and the team now heads to one of the coolest venues on the calendar.

That’s right, next up is the Portland E-Prix, a place where Envision Racing have tasted success, and with two races being held this year, there is plenty of scope to score some crucial points.

The challenge in Portland

The city of Portland, located in the state of Oregon, in North America’s Pacific Northwest region is a tourist’s dream. Located less than 200 miles from Seattle, Portland has something for everyone.

From craft beers and excellent food options to art galleries and getting lost in the city’s vibrant scene, or an outdoor enthusiast seeking nature in Forest Park or the Columbia River Gorge, Portland offers something for everyone. It’s a quirky city with a laid-back attitude, fueled by a strong coffee culture, but Envision Racing’s Sébastien Buemi and Robin Frijns won’t have much time for that.

Taking place on the permanent Portland International Raceway, situated in the north of the city, drivers are faced with a tricky 2.2 mile challenge. Last year’s inaugural Portland E-Prix was won by Nick Cassidy in an Envision Racing machine, and this year Buemi and Frijns will have two attempts to race for the win.

This clockwise track, unchanged from last year’s successful debut, is made up of high-speed corners and long straights, which provide ample opportunity for slipstreaming and daring overtaking manoeuvres. In both qualifying and the race, the tricky chicane following the start-finish straight will be a key section to wither setting a fast lap, or making some overtakes. 

A crucial element in this fight will be strategic use of the Attack Mode activation zone, positioned on the outside of Turn 7.  Here, drivers can unleash a temporary power boost, adding another layer of tactical complexity to the already demanding circuit. 

In 2023 wheel-to-wheel battles erupted from start to finish, with drivers swapping positions in a record-breaking display of overtaking on this smooth, fast track. Expect more of the same in 2024. Get ready prepare for close battles, some key strategy from the drivers, and a potentially record-breaking number of overtakes on this fast and flowing circuit.

Last year’s Portland race was a solo affair, this year sees a double-header format. The circuit maintains the same layout used for IndyCar competition, and whatever the racing series, always provides a spectacle.

Last time out in Shanghai

After sitting out the Berlin E-Prix due to a clash between the Formula E schedule and the World Endurance Championship schedule in which both Envision Racing drivers compete, it was back to normal for the first ever Shanghai E-Prix

And after series of challenging races for both Buemi and Frijns, there was plenty to be pleased with following the weekend’s pair of races.

Starting from ninth in the weekend’s opening race, Frijns pulled a surprise by leading the early stages of the race. He even enjoyed a brief stint at the front before his run ended.

Meanwhile, teammate Buemi struggled in the opening laps. However, he found his pace later, combining skilful energy management with a late surge to secure a valuable 10th place finish at the chequered flag. Despite showing early promise and looking like the stronger contender for a top-five result, Frijns’ charge was halted by a spin. 

Both Envision drivers carried positive momentum heading into Sunday’s second race in China, however with both cars starting at the back of the grid, the second race of the Shanghai E-Prix was always going to be a tough one for Envision Racing.

Despite this, Frijns rallied and despite starting dead last showcased strategic brilliance. He avoided early chaos, meticulously conserved energy, and then methodically overtook rivals throughout the Shanghai E-Prix to end up ninth at the flag with two points in the bag.

Where and when to watch the Portland E-Prix

(All times BST)

Round 13

Free Practice 1 Saturday 29 June – 00:55 – 01:45

Free Practice 2 Saturday 29 June – 15:25 – 16:15

Qualifying Saturday 29 June – 17:40 – 19:03

E-Prix Saturday 29 June 22:03 – 23:30

Round 14

Free Practice 3 Sunday 30 June – 15:25 – 16:15

Qualifying Sunday 30 June – 17:40 – 19:03

E-Prix Sunday 30 June 22:03 – 23:30

Drivers’ standings (after Rd 12):
1. Nick Cassidy, 167pts
2. Pascal Wehrlein, 142pts
3. Mitch Evans, 132pts
4. Oliver Rowland, 131pts
5. Jake Dennis, 113pts
14. Robin Frijns, 23pts
15. Sébastien Buemi, 24pts
22. Joel Eriksson, 2pts

Teams’ standings (after Rd 12):
1. Jaguar TCS Racing, 299pts
2. Porsche Formula E Team, 226pts
3. Nissan, 157pts
4. DS Penske, 154pts
5. Andretti Formula E 153, pts
8. Envision Racing, 49pts