British star Jake Dennis wins first race of London’s Formula E double-header

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·3-min read
British star Jake Dennis wins first race of London’s Formula E double-header
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Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis reigned victorious in the opening race of the 2022 SABIC London E-Prix double-header to secure his first race win of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season.

Spurred on by a packed-out home crowd, Julius Baer Pole setter Dennis led for the entirety of the race, fending off pressure from Mercedes-EQ duo Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, who finished second and third respectively.

It was Dennis’ second race victory in London, with the Brit having won the opening E-Prix at the unique indoor-outdoor track in the London Docklands this time last year.

Despite the pressure of a home crowd, the Brit looked completely unphased throughout as he secured a lights-to-flag victory. And speaking after the race, a visibly ecstatic Dennis praised an effusive home support at the ExCeL London as he took the chequered flag.

“It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done just physically,” he said. “As the rubber gets down on the surface, it’s an indoor surface, it’s so hard to turn the steering wheel. But we managed 45 minutes, and honestly the car was amazing.

“It was a technical race trying to manage Stoffel and Nyck, obviously two teammates working together. I had to manage that, and the team did a great job – the car was incredible, and the strategy was strong. From then it was just a case of bringing it home in the last 15 laps and being careful of Stoffel’s FANBOOST.

“An insane race and honestly when I crossed the chequered flag hearing the fans was one of the best experiences of my life – so, so cool. So big thank you to all the fans out here and the British support.”

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returned to ExCeL London following last season’s debut but was open to full capacity after last year’s Covid restrictions limited access. Thousands of fans at the east London venue gave victorious Dennis a standing ovation after he repelled the early advances of Drivers’ World Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne to win the race and delight the cheering home crowd.

Mercedes-EQ’s Vandoorne was content to play it cool to come home second for a 17th Formula E podium, with his closest championship rivals marooned down the pack. In fact, by the end of the first lap, both drivers trailing Vandoorne in the drivers’ standings – Edoardo Mortara of ROKiT Venturi Racing in second and Mitch Evans of Jaguar TCS Racing in third – had been in the wars, with Mortara forced to pit putting him entirely out of the fight.

 (Formula E)
(Formula E)

Reigning champion Nyck de Vries played rear gunner for teammate Vandoorne to occupy Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) who was chasing hard towards the end of the race. It was mission accomplished for Dutchman de Vries who held on to claim third place. Cassidy would settle for fourth after clambering through the pack with relative ease, heading home Oliver Askew who made it two Avalanche Andrettis in the top five.

Mitch Evans was able to pick up valuable championship points in sixth which was the best of the rest top four title contenders heading into the weekend, with Vergne unable to free himself from the midfield mire in 13th and Mortara squarely last after Lap 1 contact.

That left the advantage firmly with Vandoorne in the Drivers’ World Championship as an 11-point margin became a 26-point lead with Evans moving to second ahead of Mortara.

In the Teams’ running, Mercedes-EQ stretched to a 37-point lead on DS TECHEETAH. It’s back to ExCeL London tomorrow for Round 14 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and the last stop before Season 8 concludes with Rounds 15 and 16 in Seoul, the first time the all-electric series has visited Korea.

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