Pascal Wehrlein is the new leader of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the German charger steering his Porsche 99X to a second win in Diriyah on Saturday, edging once again Avalanche Andretti's Jake Dennis.
Behind the dominant Porsche-powered duo, Rene Rast secured his maiden Formula E podium for NEOM McLaren.
Polesitter Jake Hughes - Rast's McLaren teammate - was overhauled as soon as the first corner by Jaguar's Mitch Evans who had also blasted off from the front row.
After chasing from behind on Saturday, Wehrlein started his race from P5 and the German was snapping at the heels of his rivals from the outset.
After Evans took his attack mode, the Kiwi was passed by Hughes and Rast with the latter briefly holding first thereafter.
But Wehrlein, who had opted to save up some energy in the opening stages of the race, stepped up the pace, the Porsche driver picking off Hughes and Evans over the space of one lap.
That put him right with race leader Rast, but not for long as he undercut the McLaren through attack mode to build himself a two-second lead.
Meanwhile, yesterday's runner-up Dennis was once again on a tear, the Briton snatching fifth from Maserati's Edoardo Mortara on lap 21 before slicing in short order by Hughes, Evans and finally Rast to gain a hold on second.
Just as everything looked cut and dried up ahead for Wehrlein, a late safety car offered a potential chance for the German's rivals to catch up, but the Porsche driver remained out of touch from his frustrated pursuers.
WHAT. A. FINISH 😅#DiriyahEPrix pic.twitter.com/ImOqsBngwC
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) January 28, 2023
Wehrlein crossed the checkered flag with a 1.2 second lead over Dennis while Rast concluded his evening 4.5 seconds adrift from the evening's pace setter.
A competitive Sam Bird clocked in fourth, hot on the heels of Rast but comfortably clear of fifth-place man Hughes.
In the championship standings, Wehrlein leads Dennis by 6 points but the pair, with 68 and 62 points respectively, are over 30 points clear of Sebastien Buemi in third place.
Formula E's fourth round will take place in Hyderabad on February 11.
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