Another new track awaits the team as the Portland E-Prix sees Formula E visit the Pacific Northwest for the first time ever.
Since its inception in 2014, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has visited the United States six times, but the Portland E-Prix will mark the first time the sport will race outside New York City. And what a spectacle it promises to be.
The vibrant and lively city of Portland, Oregon is located 278km south of Seattle and in the United States beautiful Pacific Northwest region, responsible for grunge music, Frasier, Twin Peaks and, in the Portland International Raceway, one of the most scenic motorsport venues in North America.
Envision Racing, and their two drivers Nick Cassidy and Sébastien Buemi, head to these new racing pastures following a difficult double-header at the Jakarta E-Prix. Cassidy started the weekend at the summit of the Drivers’ Championship standings, ended it sitting in third place, but still just six points adrift of leader Pascal Wehrlein.
With the Portland E-Prix marking the final non-European race of the year, and just four races remaining after that, both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships are far from decided and the competition will be white hot.
THE CHALLENGE IN PORTLAND
Unlike many circuits that make up the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship calendar, the Portland International Raceway is a permanent motorsports facility. Most notably, it has hosted IndyCar competition for several decades, as well as other top-level racing series.
The 3.190km circuit features 12 varying corners, and features a huge challenge right at the beginning of the lap; the chicane.
If other racing series are any indicator, more often than not the heavy braking required from the long start-finish straight to get slowed down for this part of the circuit can cause some serious drama. It will certainly provide some thrills and spills, both at the start of the E-Prix as the pack funnels through the right-left-right sequence of turns, and also later in the race, as it will provide a key overtaking place.
As well as a place to gain positions, the chicane will be key in qualifying. Get it right and you will be set up for a quick lap, and potentially a place in the qualification duel.
After the chicane, the circuit opens out into an increasingly flowing challenge with a quick back section which will stretch the capabilities of the new faster, more efficient GEN3 machines, and provide a stage for plenty of overtaking.
LAST TIME OUT IN JAKARTA
— Envision Racing (@Envision_Racing) June 4, 2023
Following those two scintillating back-to-back victories for the team in Berlin and Monaco, it was a bit of a reality check last time out at the Jakarta E-Prix.
In the key double-header weekend, the best result for the team came with seventh for Cassidy in Saturday’s opening race, whilst team-mate Buemi had a day to forget, ending up 20th. It wasn’t all bad, however, and Cassidy bagged the fastest lap and an additional point along with six valuable championship points.
Nick, the drift king 👑 pic.twitter.com/OHZnIjbAww
— Envision Racing (@Envision_Racing) June 3, 2023
The following day, round 11 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship proved to be the lowest point of the season so far for Cassidy and saw the Kiwi knocked off the top spot in the Drivers’ Championship. A mid-race error resulted in an 18th place finish and with it just the second time in 11 races that Cassidy failed to score points.
Despite this, amid the broiling heat of the Indonesian capital, Buemi managed to end the weekend’s final race in the top 10, showing grit and determination to battle back from an early race setback to snatch 10th and crucial points for the Teams’ Championship.
Drivers’ standings (after Rd 11):
1. Pascal Wehrlein, 134pts
2. Jake Dennis, 133pts
3. Nick Cassidy, 128pts
4. Mitch Evans, 109pts
5. Jean-Éric Vergne, 97pts
9. Sébastien Buemi, 62pts
Teams’ standings (after Rd 11):
1. Porsche Formula E Team, 212pts
2. Envision Racing, 190pts
3. Jaguar Racing, 171pts
4. Avalanche Andretti, 156pts
5. DS Penske, 139pts
Back in 1997, the premier American single-seater series CART saw a thrilling three-way finish, and one of the closest ever on a road course at the Portland International Raceway .
On a damp track, British driver Mark Blundell managed to beat rival Gil de Ferran and Raul Boesel by half a tenth of a second, to score his first win in the series and etch the circuit into motorsport legend.
WHERE AND WHEN TO WATCH THE PORTLAND E-PRIX (ALL TIMES BST)
24 June Free Practice 1 – 01:25 – 01:15
24 June Free Practice 2 – 18:25 – 19:15
24 June Qualifying – 20:40 – 21:55
25 June Race – 01:03 – 02:30
Follow Envision Racing here as they look to continue fighting at the front in Formula E in 2023.