Mitch Evans celebrates after his victory at the Sao Paulo E-Prix. Buda Mendes / Getty Images
Mitch Evans has claimed his first victory of the Formula E World Championship season, taking out the Sao Paulo race in a Kiwi 1-2 finish.
Last year’s championship runner-up clinched victory in Brazil on Sunday (NZ time) after holding off a fierce finish from fellow New Zealander Nick Cassidy, who he had overtaken in the closing laps.
Starting from third on the grid, Jaguar driver Evans navigated his way through constant position changes throughout the pack on the 11-turn street circuit, then prevailed by two tenths of a second from Cassidy (Envision), who had qualified fifth and led the race more than once.
After four additional laps were added to the race due to safety car protocols, the two New Zealanders each had just 1% of useable energy remaining heading into the final lap, and Briton Sam Bird was able to use his energy advantage to catch up.
However, Evans was able to absorb Cassidy’s attacks as well as holding off team-mate Bird, who finished half a second behind him, as the Kiwis coasted over the line with all their useable energy gone, but having successfully avoided exceeding the speed limit.
The victory was Evans’ seventh since entering the championship in the 2016-17 season, and it made for a fifth different winner in six rounds this season, pushing him up to ninth in the standings, with Cassidy third in what was a 1-2-3 for Jaguar TCS Racing.
Mitch Evans claimed his first win of the Formula E World Championship season, just.
“This has come at the perfect time, we had a tough start but the car has been quick – so to finally get the victory and some points is incredible,” Evans said.
“A Jaguar 1-2-3, Nick pushed me all the way – we pushed each other – both teams executed brilliantly. This is down to a lot of hard work, there is a lot of graft that goes in with simulations, and to try and put these races together regarding strategy is not easy. I wouldn't have wanted it much closer than that.
“We obviously thought about track position and where you want to be at certain phases in the races. I had a good energy advantage from quite early on, but it was just about trying to find the right time to use the energy advantage.
“I thought I maybe went a bit too early, once Nick got behind me he was able to accumulate some energy and he was able to stick to my toe, but we got the victory so we obviously managed to do the right job.”