Di Grassi extends Formula E championship lead with Paris win

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PARIS – Lucas di Grassi extended his lead at the top of the FIA Formula E drivers’ championship with a controlled victory in the inaugural Paris ePrix on Saturday.

A perfect getaway from second place on the grid allowed di Grassi to slip past pole-sitter Sam Bird on the run down to the first corner, from where the Brazilian only lost P1 through the pit stops.

Di Grassi spent the opening half of the race forging a lead over DS Virgin Racing drivers Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne, albeit tempered by a lap of full course yellows called when Loic Duval stopped out on track.

His lead stood at five seconds before coming into the pits after Vergne and Bird made contact, the latter having also lost second place to his teammate at the start. Their squabbling continued until after the car swaps, allowing championship contender Sebastien Buemi to close in on a podium position, making his way up from eighth on the grid.

Bird made a critical error with six laps remaining, locking up at Turn 1 and take a trip down the slip road to drop to sixth place, handing Buemi the final podium position.

The race finished under a safety car after Team Aguri debutant Ma Qinghua crashed at the final corner with five laps remaining. The Chinese racer thankfully walked away unharmed, although the same could not be said of his car.

This allowed di Grassi to ease across the line in first place for the third race in a row (one win lost through disqualification) and extend his lead over Buemi in the standings to 11 points.

Vergne picked up his first podium in Formula E since last year’s London finale by finishing second for DS Virgin on home soil, while Buemi finished third ahead of Renault e.dams teammate Nicolas Prost.

Stephane Sarrazin had a quiet race en route to P5, finishing ahead of Bird, but the same could not be said of Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa. Despite racing with season one technology, both drivers had feisty races on their way to seventh and eighth.

Bruno Senna and Daniel Abt had hoped to enjoy a late charge by going longer before making their first pit stops, giving them more energy for the second stint, but the safety car scuppered this and left them ninth and 10th at the flag.

Formula E Paris ePrix Race Result

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Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.