DS Virgin's Sam Bird doubles up with second New York ePrix victory

An imperious Sam Bird claimed a New York double with a nonchalant drive in the second race of Formula E's Brooklyn weekend

DS Virgin's Sam Bird doubles up with second New York ePrix victory

The DS Virgin Racing driver combined strong pace and a perfect strategy to easily defeat the chasing Mahindras of Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist.

Lucas di Grassi finished off the podium again, but another top-five finish means he goes to the final two races in Montreal just 10 points behind championship leader Sebastien Buemi.

Bird started from pole but lost the lead to Rosenqvist on the run to the right-hand Turn 1.

He stayed glued to the Swede's rear bumper, and after a brief full-course yellow interlude thanks to Mitch Evans stopping his Jaguar while running 10th, resumed his attack immediately.

On lap 10 of 49 he lunged Rosenqvist at the tight Turn 6 hairpin, wresting the lead back with a superb and aggressive pass.

From there Bird was faultless, stopping a lap later than the majority of his rivals under another FCY as DS Virgin judged the caution perfectly and gave its driver a lap's extra energy than those chasing him.

That allowed Bird to ease clear when racing resumed, and he won by 11.3s to vault to fourth in the drivers' championship, after starting the weekend eighth in the points.

Heidfeld tried to follow Bird past Rosenqvist when the Briton nicked the lead, and although he failed he shadowed his team-mate throughout.

Red Bull Formula 1 protege Pierre Gasly caught the pair at the end, and the three concertinaed through the final corner - with Gasly throwing his Renault e.dams around the outside of Heidfeld.

Rosenqvist retained second and Heidfeld third, though, as Gasly ran wide, hit the wall on the exit and then on the other side of the track as well as he crossed the line with a crumpled front end.

Fourth was still a superb result for the 2016 GP2 champion, who ensured he beat his much more experienced team-mate Nico Prost in both races on his debut.

More importantly for the man he replaced at Renault, points leader Buemi, Gasly took points off Audi driver di Grassi.

The Brazilian started ninth and worked his way up to fifth, but had no answer to the pace of the leading quartet.

Behind di Grassi, Prost was a distant sixth, and remains without a podium this season, while Tom Dillmann claimed a strong seventh for Venturi, which had lost Maro Engel from sixth early on due to crash damage.

Jean-Eric Vergne was only eighth after Techeetah kept him and team-mate Stephane Sarrazin out a lap too long under the FCY and meant they swapped cars just as the rest of the field resumed racing speed.

Robin Frijns stayed out even later than those two but recovered to a surprise ninth in the BMW-backed Andretti entry, with Jerome d'Ambrosio in 10th.

D'Ambrosio made a forceful move on Faraday Future Dragon Racing team-mate Loic Duval for what turned out to be the final point.

Duval was then punted into a spin a lap later by Antonio Felix da Costa, who dropped to 15th.

RESULTS - 49 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sam Bird Virgin DS Virgin 58m09.388s
2 Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Mahindra 11.381s
3 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 12.319s
4 Pierre Gasly e.dams Renault 12.355s
5 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 23.451s
6 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 30.470s
7 Tom Dillmann Venturi Venturi 41.862s
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah Renault 52.292s
9 Robin Frijns Andretti Andretti 1m00.475s
10 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Penske 1m12.659s
11 Adam Carroll Jaguar Jaguar 1m41.134s
12 Stephane Sarrazin Techeetah Renault 1 Lap
13 Loic Duval Dragon Penske 1 Lap
14 Oliver Turvey NextEV NEXTEV TCR 1 Lap
15 Antonio Felix da Costa Andretti Andretti 1 Lap
16 Nelson Piquet Jr. NextEV NEXTEV TCR 3 Laps
- Maro Engel Venturi Venturi Steering
- Alex Lynn Virgin DS Virgin Electronics
- Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler Not classified
- Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar Battery

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastien Buemi 157
2 Lucas di Grassi 147
3 Felix Rosenqvist 104
4 Sam Bird 100
5 Nicolas Prost 84
6 Nick Heidfeld 78
7 Jean-Eric Vergne 74
8 Jose Maria Lopez 50
9 Daniel Abt 47
10 Nelson Piquet Jr. 33
11 Oliver Turvey 26
12 Robin Frijns 20
13 Loic Duval 19
14 Pierre Gasly 18
15 Stephane Sarrazin 17
16 Mitch Evans 16
17 Maro Engel 16
18 Jerome d'Ambrosio 11
19 Antonio Felix da Costa 10
20 Tom Dillmann 10
21 Adam Carroll 5
22 Esteban Gutierrez 5
23 Alex Lynn 3

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