Prost wins London ePrix opener as di Grassi edges out Buemi

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LONDON, UK – Nicolas Prost dominated proceedings in the first leg of the London ePrix Formula E double-header on Saturday, leading every lap of the race to end his victory drought dating back to last year’s Miami ePrix.

After taking pole in a damp qualifying session at Battersea Park, Prost made light work of the competition early on before a safety car period wiped away his lead.

The Frenchman controlled the restart well, ensuring that Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna was kept at an arm’s length throughout before crossing the line five seconds clear of the pack.

The real talking point after the race was the battle between championship contenders Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi, who started 10th and 12th respectively after rain scuppered their qualifying efforts.

Both managed to pick their way through the pack, with di Grassi losing part of his front wing when trying to pass DS Virgin Racing’s Jean-Eric Vergne for position with eight laps to go.

The loose part soon broke away, allowing di Grassi to continue without incurring the wrath of the stewards, much to the chagrin of Buemi behind.

Heading into the final stages of the race, di Grassi and Buemi ran fourth and fifth respectively, only for Sam Bird to relegate Buemi to P6 with a late lunge.

However, Bird slowed coming out of the final corner on the last lap of the race, causing Buemi to hit him. The Swiss driver gesticulated angrily, but was able to take the position and ensure that di Grassi only finished one position ahead, having failed to take Vergne late on.

As a result, di Grassi enters tomorrow’s season finale with a three-point lead over Buemi, with 30 still up for grabs.

Daniel Abt and Robin Frijns had ran well up the order for most of the race, only to crash out when fighting for position after 20 laps, resulting in a safety car period.

NEXTEV TCR’s Oliver Turvey also looked set to score his first podium finish in Formula E before crashing with three laps remaining. Teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. finished down in P14, but did pick up two points for recording the fastest lap of the race.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”