Formula E

Formula E in Portland: Jaguar driver Mitch Evans takes pole position on Saturday

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

Mitch Evans took pole position at the Portland E-Prix on Saturday. The Jaguar driver does not only start out front for the of two Formula E races in the USA but also scored three important points in the title fight. Second place went to Norman Nato, who will start twelfth due to a demotion. Jake Hughes moved up to the front row of the grid.

Group A: Hughes flies, Cassidy fails

In the first group, only a few favourites for pole position took to the track - above all the two Jaguar drivers. In the first four minutes, however, the two ABT drivers were in the lead. Mitch Evans took a trip onto the grass. As a result, he stayed out even longer while the others were already getting new tyres. The top four at this point: Jake Hughes, Sebastien Buemi, Nico Müller and Nick Cassidy.

Then things got serious. Evans initially set a new best time. Jean-Eric Vergne had to swerve onto the grass because he had collided with Sergio Sette Camara - the scene was investigated by the stewards. Despite this, the ERT driver improved and surprisingly finished third behind Evans in the quarter-finals. Hughes finished first, Lucas di Grassi fourth.

Somewhat later came the bad news for ERT: Sette Camara was penalised for blocking Vergne, allowing Edo Mortara to enter the duels. Behind them came Nico Müller, Buemi, championship leader Cassidy (!), Vergne, Sam Bird and Max Günther.

Group B: Ticktum & Collet impress

All four Porsche 99X Electric cars started in Group B - as favourites. Andretti driver Norman Nato had won the 1st free practice, Antonio Felix da Costa in the manufacturer car the 2nd free practice. After the first attempts, however, Dan Ticktum in the ERT was the fastest - directly ahead of the four Porsche cars.

After the pit stops, it was time for the decisive laps. Pascal Wehrlein was the first driver to improve, but ultimately failed to finish in fifth place. Robin Frijns' improvement, on the other hand, was enough for third place, moving up into the duels behind Ticktum and Felix da Costa. Nato also progressed. The following were eliminated: Wehrlein, Jake Dennis, Nissan rookie Caio Collet ahead of team-mate Sacha Fenestraz (!), Stoffel Vandoorne, Jehan Daruvala and Nyck de Vries.

Quarter-final

VF1: Lucas di Grassi vs. Mitch Evans

In the first duel, which had never been seen before in the Gen3 era, Evans clearly got off to the better start. The Jaguar driver was also faster than di Grassi in the second and third sections of the track and progressed to the semi-finals with a commanding lead of almost four tenths of a second.

VF2: Edo Mortara vs Jake Hughes

Hughes made the better start to the second duel, but Mortara closed the gap in sector 2. However, the Mahindra driver then made a mistake in turn 10, hit the grass and lost a lot of time. As a result, Hughes prevailed with an 18-second lead.

VF3: Robin Frijns vs Antonio Felix da Costa

Now a thrilling duel was on the cards. Felix da Costa was marginally faster than Frijns in the first two sectors, but the Dutchman closed the gap in the final corner of the circuit and even took the virtual lead. In the end, he beat the Porsche driver by 46 thousandths of a second. Felix da Costa nevertheless started in fifth place.

VF4: Norman Nato vs. Dan Ticktum

Nato has somehow been of the man of the day so far - and lived up to his role as favourite in the first two sectors. Although Ticktum was faster than the Frenchman in sector 3, he was beaten by just under a tenth of a second. After all: 6th place on the grid for the ERT underdog!

Semi-final

HF1: Mitch Evans vs Jake Hughes

In sector 1, both drivers were almost equally fast. However, Evans was then able to carve out a small lead. As he was also better in the final section, Evans ultimately beat Hughes by more than two and a half tenths of a second to reach the final.

HF2: Norman Nato vs Robin Frijns

In the second semi-final, Frijns lost almost four tenths of a second in the very first corner due to a mistake! Although the Envision driver took Sectors 2 and 3, he was only able to reduce his deficit to 2.8 tenths of a second. Nato thus advanced to the final against Evans.

Final: Norman Nato vs Mitch Evans

The Portland qualifying final began with a strong first sector from Nato - a good tenth of a second faster than Evans! However, the Andretti driver was clearly slower in the second sector and lost his lead. Sector 3 also went to Evans, meaning that the "Kiwi" crossed the finish line with a lead of 1.96 tenths of a second: pole position for Jaguar and Evans - his eighth in Formula E and another three championship points!

The 13th race of the 2024 Formula E season will take place late on Saturday evening at 11 pm (CEST).

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Championship standings (drivers & teams)

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