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Formula E Portland ePrix I

Cassidy “one lap away” from Formula E title before Portland spin

Jaguar driver would have all but guaranteed the title before error

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, touches the grass

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6, touches the grass

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Nick Cassidy claims he “was one lap away from winning the championship this weekend” after spinning out from the lead in the Portland E-Prix on the penultimate lap.

The Jaguar driver entered the American double-header at the Portland International Raceway 25 points ahead of nearest challenger Pascal Wehrlein with only four races remaining this season.

Having started 10th for Saturday’s opening race, Cassidy sat outside the points in the early running to conserve energy before hitting the front in the latter stages of the 27-lap race.

But heading into the fast and sweeping left/right sequence of Turns 10/11 on the penultimate lap, Cassidy ran slightly deep which sent him offline and into a spin on the exit of the corner.

Able to rejoin, he was eventually classified 19th after admitting it to be an error of his own making.

“Sometimes you’ve got to take a lot of responsibility and put your hand up and say you’ve screwed up,” Cassidy told Motorsport.com.

“Today that’s the day for me. I guess a few chain of events led to that but ultimately that’s the case.”

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing , Jaguar I-TYPE 6, Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

Cassidy’s Jaguar team-mate Mitch Evans had moved into second on-the-road on lap 24, but the Kiwi had been handed a five-second penalty for a collision with Jake Hughes earlier in the race.

It meant that Evans was never a threat for Cassidy’s outright victory, but both were informed over the radio that they were free to race for position, leading to Cassidy defending on several occasions.

Aware of his team-mate’s penalty, Cassidy admits that dropping behind would have been too risky with eventual race winner Antonio Felix da Costa immediately behind.

“I think the exact words were ‘you’re racing Mitch’,” said Cassidy about the team’s radio message. “I think he had slightly less energy than me, so I knew that if he was leading with the slipstream here that I’d be under a lot of pressure from da Costa [in third].

“I was assuming with his energy target he [Evans] didn’t have enough energy [to lead].”

Victory for Cassidy would most likely have extended his points advantage to Wehrlein to as many as 50 points, as the German was only able to salvage 10th after the front wing endplate from Hughes’ car became lodged under his Porsche, impacting its performance.

“We can’t shy away from the fact we would have probably won the championship today,” said Cassidy, whose championship lead now sits at 24 points.

“I would have had a 50-point lead. I know that I was one lap away from winning the championship this weekend.

“I think we shouldn’t ignore that but I’m also aware that I’m still in a very good position and I can’t let this moment define the next three races.”

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