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Lucas di Grassi elated with maiden Paris ePrix victory

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PARIS – Formula E championship leader Lucas di Grassi made no secret of his elation after winning the inaugural Paris ePrix on Saturday.

Formula E made its first visit to Paris this weekend and was graced with a warm welcome by the locals in the French capital who packed out the grandstands and the e-village.

All of the drivers were delighted to be racing in Paris over the weekend, but it was di Grassi who became the first winner of the Paris ePrix thanks to a peerless display.

The Brazilian seized the lead from pole-man Sam Bird off the line and didn’t look back, leading all but two laps en route to his third victory of the year.

“It was the best start I’ve had so far,” di Grassi said. “It was very cold, it makes a huge difference. It took longer to spin the tires and make them hot. I think I managed to have a very good start compared to Sam, he had a lot of wheelspin. I just managed to stay on the inside. Also JEV [Vergne] had a very good start.

“From then onwards, the gap was not increasing. I was pushing really, really hard but the gap was something around two seconds. It increased by the end of the first stint for the pit stop.”

Di Grassi spoke warmly about the event in Paris, expressing his pride after winning the race.

“To be racing here in Paris is just amazing. I think the job Formula E has done to put together the event, such a nice event, such a nice show in the middle of Paris which is one of the top cities in the world just shows promoting this innovative electric technology.

“You see people all around the track cheering. it’s just amazing what was done here today. This is what Formula E is about.

“I’m realizing every time more now how important it is being the first ever race in the centre of Paris. The track was very difficult and conditions were difficult. I had to take risks at the start. Everything went well and I’m really happy to have won.”

However, di Grassi isn’t getting carried away about the title race just yet despite having only four more races to defend his lead.

“I really thought the championship was definitely compromised in Mexico, but this 11 point lead means nothing,” di Grassi said.

“One bad weekend could make it worse. We have 120 points available still. We have to keep working, keep going race by race, try to score as many as possible.”

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.