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Bird takes victory in New York thriller – Race Report

New York ePrix – Sam Bird took the win in the inaugural New York race after a close battle with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne.

Daniel Abt took the lead from polesitter Alex Lynn into the first corner, with Bird getting ahead of Vergne for third.

Bird got ahead of his team mate with a pass into Turn 2 on Lap 9 of 43, and took the lead on Lap 16 with a hard pass on Abt on the inside of Turn 6.

Bird and Vergne pitted on the same lap, with the DS Virgin driver maintaining the gap to his rival until the chequered flag for his first win of the season.

Stephane Sarrazin had worked his way through the field from 11th on the grid to take a last-lap podium when Abt had a battery management system issue which forced him to stop on track.

This also promoted championship challenger Lucas di Grassi to fourth after he charged from tenth on the grid.

Di Grassi’s fourth place finish means he closes the gap to championship leader Sebastien Buemi to 20 points, with another race on Sunday for him to further close the gap.

It was a nightmare race for Mahindra. While defending against di Grassi for a top five spot, Felix Rosenqvist spun at Turn 2 and broke his rear wing against the barriers. He was given the black and orange flag which required him to pit for repairs.

After losing four places in the pit stop phase, Nick Heidfeld broke his suspension against the Turn 3 kerb which meant he had to stop on track, prompting a brief safety car period.

Loic Duval was fifth for Dragon ahead of NextEV’s Oliver Turvey.

Formula E debutant Pierre Gasly was seventh after recovering from the back row of the grid to also beat team mate Nico Prost in eighth.

Robin Frijns was ninth for Andretti with Adam Carroll completing the top ten.

After stunning the field in qualifying with a debut pole, Lynn struggled to match the pace in the race and fell back through the field before a driveshaft failure put him out of the race.

Maro Engel set the fastest lap of the race to score a championship point.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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