Sao Paulo E-Prix: Evans heads Jaguar-powered 1-2-3


Mitch Evans led home a Jaguar-powered trio in Saturday's inaugural Sao Paulo E-Prix with Envision Racing's Nick Cassidy and Jaguar TCS teammate Sam Bird completing the race's podium.

The event's denouement saw Evans steal Cassidy's thunder at the head of the field in the four-lap overtime period, with the latter, who had led the race more than once, and Bird unable to hit back at the Kiwi.

Polesitter Stoffel Vandoorne enjoyed a clean getaway when the lights went off at the start, the DS Penske charger leading Antonio Felix da Costa, Evans, Cassidy and Vergne through the Turn 1 complex.

However, in the thick of the pack, Nissan's Norman Nato and Maserati's Edo Motara incurred terminal damage in separate incidents on the opening lap.

A tight field saw many drivers jockeying for positions but Vandoorne held his own up front, fending off Da Costa during the first round of Attack Mode activations until the race reached its half-way stage.

Thereafter on lap 14 of 31, after a short safety car period triggered by Sacha Fenestraz's stricken Nissan, changes involving four drivers were fast and furious at the front, with Cassidy coming out on top, then losing the lead as he took his AM before recouping first place from Vandoorne.

A clash between championship rivals Jake Dennis and Pascal Wehrlein instigated by Dan Ticktum, forced Dennis to stop out on the track which brought out a second pace car period.

The restart came on Lap 19, with leader Cassidy and Vandoorne taking AM. Da Costa and Evans followed a lap later, with the top four settling their positions, with Cassidy leading from da Costa, Evans and Vandoorne.

On Lap 25, da Costa ruined his chances when he overcooked it at Turn 1, while Vandoorne drifted down to sixth after struggling for energy.

As the race entered its closing stages, with four laps added to the 31, Bird dispatched Vergne and then Vandoorne to latch on to the fast-moving Cassidy-Evans duo, the now leading trio putting some air between itself and its pursuers.

With three laps to go, Evans made a move into Turn 1 and snatched the race lead from Cassidy, the Kiwi switching to defense mode to successfully protect his position on the final lap from his Envision rival.

Meanwhile, da Costa held fourth from the Vergne-Vandoorne DS Penske pair which rounded off the top five at the checkered flag.

In the championship's drivers' standings, with 86 points Porsche's Wehrlein leads Andretti's Jake Dennis with 62 and Cassidy with 61 points.

The next pair of Formula E rounds will take place in Berlin on April 22-23.

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