Bird wins first round of New York ePrix
Sam Bird won Saturday’s round of the first ever New York ePrix after an action-packed race which concluded with a two-lap sprint following a late Safety Car period.
Bird held on to win from Jean-Eric Vergne by 1.3 seconds and the Frenchman’s Techeetah team mate Stéphane Sarrazin.
Surprise poleman Alex Lynn, running in his first ever ePrix, lost the lead at the start to Daniel Abt with Bird in third after getting ahead of Vergne.
The DS Virgin Racing charger eventually dispatched Lynn on lap 9 of 43 before setting after Abt , passing the German on lap 15 with an aggressive move at Turn 1.
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The lead group stabilized after the pit stop rotations with Bird heading Vergne, Abt, Sarrazin, Rosenqvist and di Grassi.
Later, Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld clipped a curb and damaged the right-rear of his car, stopping on track whihc brought out the Safety Car with just five laps remaining.
The race resumed for a final two-lap shootout which Bird controlled while Abt threw it all away at the first corner on the final lap, promoting Sarrzin to the final podium place.
Lucas di Grassi’s fourth-place finish enabled the Brazilian to cut into the absent Sebastien Buemi’s championship lead which he reduced to just 20 points before Sunday’s second round of the New York ePrix.
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