NICK CASSIDY AND SÉBASTIEN BUEMI WILL LOOK TO TAKE EARLY SEASON SPEED AND SOME STRONG PERFORMANCES TO SOUTH AFRICA
For the second consecutive race, Envision Racing heads to uncharted territory, and visits a brand new country in South Africa, and a fresh challenge in the shape of the Cape Town Street Circuit.
The inaugural Cape Town E-Prix follows hot on the heels of a dramatic first time out in India, and the Hyderabad E-Prix. Both Envision Racing drivers were at the sharp end, with Nick Cassidy claiming his first podium finish of the year, whilst Sébastien Buemi ended up third on the road, but was harshly penalised after the race.
The Cape Town E-Prix will be the fifth race of the 2022–23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, and it promises to be a pretty spectacular setting for the world’s fastest all-electric motorsport series.
Cape Town is renowned as a cosmopolitan city, surrounded by stunning nature, a picture postcard coast line, beautiful golden beaches, dramatic terrain, and serves as one of South Africa’s three capital cities. The odds look good that the new 2.94km, 12-turn street circuit will serve up some serious drama.
Looming over the Cape Town Street Circuit is Table Mountain, one of the new seven wonders of the world, and the Mother City is also known for its award-winning food and wine, and sheer variety of experiences on offer. Not that the two Envision Racing chargers will have any time to indulge in any of that.
This track is going to be QUICK! ⚡
Your first look at the #CapeTownEPrix Street Circuit 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/PpIPrIN30K
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 20, 2023
As with the previous round in India, both Buemi and Cassidy will look to dial in to the new circuit as soon as possible, during the crucial opening practice sessions, ahead of the all important qualifying.
The newest challenge on the Formula E calendar will see the GEN3 cars wind their way through Cape Town’s Green Point and Waterfront districts. Organisers state that this new street circuit is expected to be one of the quickest the drivers will face, allowing the faster and more efficient 350kW GEN3 machines to really stretch their legs.
Come race time, the 22 drivers will line up alongside the Green Point precinct’s Vlei Road, looking forward to a 90 degree left turn into Helen Suzman Boulevard, followed by another left-hand flick into Granger Bay Boulevard.
Some speed will need to be scrubbed off as two tight chicanes are negotiated, and these will be crucial to setting a strong lap in qualifying. Following another 90 degree left turn, the scene is set for a flowing remainder of the lap which runs along the oceanfront on Mouille Point’s Beach Road, before the final sharp left-hander into Fritz Sonnenberg Road and the dash to the finish line.
LAST TIME OUT IN HYBERABAD
Envision Racing used the brand new Hyderabad E-Prix as a venue to prove the team are genuine contenders in 2023. The inaugural race in India proved to be one to remember for the team, however it wasn’t without some pain.
For driver of the day Nick Cassidy, there was plenty to celebrate. The Kiwi driver was within an overtake of victory, only for a stubborn defence from eventual race-winner Jean-Éric Vergne to deny Cassidy a second career E-Prix victory.
The Envision Racing driver combined canny energy-saving with some stellar overtakes to surge from tenth on the grid to second place, and Cassidy should have been joined on the podium by team-mate Sébastien Buemi.
That @Sebastien_buemi move…😮💨#HyderabadEPrix pic.twitter.com/l3untWpetW
— Envision Racing (@Envision_Racing) February 13, 2023
In India, for the fourth consecutive time this season, Buemi was flying in qualifying, again making the head-to-head stages, and ending up third on the grid. The Swiss driver looked strong in the first half of the race, settling into a race-winning position before fading slightly as the race approached the final laps.
Despite this, Buemi rallied, and at the chequered flag, crossed the line third on the road seemingly giving Envision Racing a double podium. This wasn’t to be.
Following the race, Buemi was slapped with a retrospective drive-through, later converted to a 30-second penalty for an overuse of power. As a result there was no second podium finish of the year, and Buemi would end up 15th, denting his early-season points-scoring momentum.
You voted @NickCassidy_ as your Driver of the Race! 🙌@GreenkoIndia #HyderabadEPrix pic.twitter.com/SP4QAFj0GO
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 11, 2023
Despite this, on the eve of the Cape Town E-Prix, Buemi sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, tied on points with Jean-Éric Vergne. Cassidy is just one place and three points behind his team-mate, meaning both Envision Racing drivers are in the championship hunt.
The strong start to the season for Buemi and Cassidy means that Envision Racing are sitting pretty in the Teams’ Championship, sitting third in the standings, six points ahead of McLaren, and will look to use the new track in Cape Town as a base to close the gap to Andretti and leaders Porsche.
Drivers’ standings (after Rd 4):
1. Pascal Wehrlein, 80pts
2. Jake Dennis, 62pts
3. Jean-Éric Vergne, 31pts
4. Sébastien Buemi, 31pts
5. Nick Cassidy, 28pts
Teams’ standings (after Rd 4):
1. Porsche Formula E Team, 101pts
2. Avalanche Andretti, 78pts
3. Envision Racing, 59pts
4. McLaren Formula E Team, 53pts
5. Jaguar TCS Racing, 42pts
CAPE TOWN E-PRIX SCHEDULE (all times BST)
Friday 24 February: Free Practice 1 – 14:55 – 15:45
Saturday 25 February: Free Practice 2 – 07:05 – 07:55
Saturday 25 February: Qualifying – 09:40 – 10:55
Saturday 25 February: Race – 14:03 – 15:30
Follow Envision Racing at the Cape Town E-Prix and throughout the 2022–23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship HERE