Formula E’s season-on-season stats compared, heading to Long Beach

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After a three-week break since its most recent round in Mexico City, the FIA Formula E Championship reconvenes this weekend on the streets of Long Beach for its sixth round of the season.

As was the case last year, Long Beach marks the sixth race of the season. Unlike last year, it marks the only trip to the U.S. for the series. Last year, Formula E had a twin-bill at Miami and Long Beach.

Here’s a quick look at where things sat this time last year from a results and points standpoint, versus this year:

  • 2015 through 5 races: 5 winners (di Grassi, Bird, Buemi, da Costa, Prost), 8 different podium finishers (those 5 plus Montagny, Speed, Abt), 4 pole winners (Prost, Servia, Vergne, Buemi), 5 different drivers set fast lap (Sato, Alguersuari, Abt, Bird, Piquet)
  • 2016 through 5 races: 4 winners (Buemi, di Grassi, Bird, d’Ambrosio), 7 different podium finishers (those 4 plus Heidfeld, Frijns, Prost), 3 pole winners (Buemi, d’Ambrosio, Bird), 3 different drivers set fast lap (Buemi, d’Ambrosio, Prost)

As you see, in a year with changes to the powertrains, certain teams have locked in better than others – the e.Dams Renault team has been the pace setter this year.

Here’s a year-on-year points comparison, five races in:

# Driver Nat. Team ’16 Pos. ’15 Pos.
9 Sebastien Buemi SUI e.dams Renault 98 1 43 5
11 Lucas di Grassi BRZ ABT Schaeffler Audi 76 2 60 2
2 Sam Bird GB DS Virgin Racing 60 3 52 3
7 Jerome d’Ambrosio BEL Dragon Racing 58 4 34 7
6 Loic Duval FRA Dragon Racing 44 5 6 18
8 Nicolas Prost FRA e.dams Renault 38 6 67 1
27 Robin Frijns NED Amlin Andretti 31 7
4 Stephane Sarrazin FRA Venturi 30 8 3 20
23 Nick Heidfeld GER Mahindra Racing 27 9 5 19
66 Daniel Abt GER ABT Schaeffler Audi 16 10 19 9
55 Antonio Felix da Costa POR Team Aguri 16 11 37 6
21 Bruno Senna BRZ Mahindra Racing 12 12 18 13
88 Oliver Turvey GB NEXTEV TCR 10 13
25 Jean-Eric Vergne FRA DS Virgin Racing 6 14 14 15
1 Nelson Piquet Jr. BRZ NEXTEV TCR 4 15 49 4
77 Nathaniel Berthon GB Team Aguri 4 16
77 Salvador Duran MEX Team Aguri 0 19 1 22
3 Jaime Alguersuari SPN Virgin 26 8
27 Franck Montagny FRA Andretti Autosport 18 10
28 Scott Speed USA Andretti Autosport 18 11
5 Karun Chandhok IND Mahindra Racing 18 12
6 Oriol Servia SPN Dragon Racing 16 14
10 Jarno Trulli ITA Trulli GP 12 16
28 Charles Pic FRA Andretti Autosport 12 17
55 Takuma Sato JPN Amlin Aguri 2 21

As you can see, the year-on-year pacesetters – Buemi, di Grassi and Bird – have been in top-five positions each of the first five races in both years.

Prost has tailed off a bit this year compared to last, but his decline hasn’t quite been as bad as defending series champion Nelson Piquet Jr.’s, who’s suffered a nightmarish start to his title defense. Piquet won his first race in the series at Long Beach this year.

Team-wise, e.Dams Renault has led the way both years:

Team (Nat.) Car ’16 Pos. ’15 Pos.
ED e.dams Renault (FRA) Renault Z.E 15 136 1 110 1
DR Dragon Racing (USA) Venturi VM200-FE-01 102 2 56 5
AB ABT Schaeffler Audi (GER) ABT Schaeffler FE01 92 3 79 2
VR DS Virgin Racing (GB) Citroen Virgin DSV-01 66 4 78 3
MR Mahindra Racing (IND) Mahindra M2ELECTRO 39 5 36 8
AA Amlin Andretti (USA) Spark SRT01-e 31 6 62 4
VE Venturi (MON) Venturi VM200-FE-01 30 7 8 10
AG Team Aguri (JPN) Spark SRT01-e 20 8 40 7
NT NEXTEV TCR (CHN) NEXTEV TCR FormulaE 001 14 9 49 6
TR Trulli GP (SUI) Motomatica JT-01 0 10 12 9

Both teams that have used the season one chassis and powertrain have seen their points totals drop.

The points were more evenly spread last year. Last year, just 43 points separated second-placed Abt from eighth-placed Mahindra through five races. Now, 70 points separates the top four in the championship and there’s a further 27 points from there back to fifth-placed Mahindra this year.  The Trulli team bowed out of the championship this year before any races.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.