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Da Costa ‘perfect’ for Andretti’s Formula E team

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Andretti Autosport executive vice-president JF Thormann believes that Antonio Felix da Costa is “perfect” for its Formula E operation ahead of the all-electric series’ third season.

The MS Amlin Andretti team announced over the summer that da Costa would be joining for season three, replacing the Supercars-bound Simona de Silvestro.

Da Costa impressed throughout his stint with Team Aguri, claiming the team’s only victory in Buenos Aires in season one and taking a number of other big results in season two despite using a year-old powertrain.

Like Aguri, Andretti was also unable to run an in-house powertrain for season two, putting it on the same page as da Costa heading into the new campaign that starts in Hong Kong on October 9.

“He’s perfect for us,” Thormann told NBC Sports when asked about da Costa’s arrival at the launch of the New York City ePrix earlier this week.

“From the competitive side, it’s good for that reason. Plus our sponsor, MS Amlin, sponsored him just before.

“He’s very good and astute technically, he’s very good friends with Robin Frijns, good team chemistry.

“I think he’s been a really good find for us.”

With an in-house powertrain now fitted to the car and da Costa on-board, Thormann says there is more optimism at Andretti for season three.

“Certainly quite a bit more. We knew we’d be in trouble last year having to use the season one car,” Thormann said.

“Now we’re back up to speed. We felt in Donington we had slight gremlins but we should be there at Hong Kong.”

Earlier today, BMW confirmed that da Costa would be leaving DTM at the end of the season to focus fully on his commitments in Formula E.

Christopher Bell wins third straight Chili Bowl

@cbnationals, Twitter
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Christopher Bell passed Kyle Larson on the final lap of the 55-lap A-Feature to win the 33rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Bell is only the second driver in event history to win three consecutive Golden Drillers, joining Kevin Swindell who holds the record with four.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to win the Chili Bowl,” Bell said at ChiliBowl.com. “To do it three straight times is just unbelievable, but man, I don’t even care about three straight. What about that race? I don’t think I’ve ever really been a part of a last lap race like that, so I’m just glad that thing came out in the end.”

As the white flag waved on his eighth appearance in Saturday’s main event, it seemed Larson was finally going to walk away with his first Golden Driller. This was closest he’s been to the win.

Larson took the lead from Logan Seavey on Lap 21 after a five-lap hot pursuit. Bell moved into second for the first time on Lap 27 but a caution forced him back to third as the field realigned to the last completed lap.

On Lap 33, Bell passed Seavey again for second before another caution reset the field. On the next restart Bell road the rim diving to the hub in Turns 3 and 4. With Larson in sight, Bell started to think about where he was going to put his third trophy.

The final caution flag of the night waved with 20 to go to set up the Bell vs. Larson shootout fans had been waiting for since Larson retired early from the race last year. Larson pulled away on the highline in Turns 1 and 2. He switched to the low in 3 and 4.

With five laps to go Larson hit traffic. That gave Bell the opportunity to close the gap. With two to go Bell was on top of Larson and challenging for the lead. On the final lap Bell passed Larson in Turn 2 as they bumped tires. Glued together through the final pair of turns, they touched twice more before Bell pulled away on the final stretch.

The action wasn’t over, however. Bell wound up on his lid following the win. His donuts got a little out of control and he rolled his midget.

Justin Grant took third by passing Brady Bacon on Lap 36. Bacon followed for fourth with Zach Daum in tow to complete the top five.

Tyler Courtney was the hard charger of the night finishing sixth after starting in 22nd. Brad Sweet and CJ Leary finished seventh and eighth.

Seavey was able to hold onto third until late in the race but ultimately the pole sitter who led the first 20 laps faded to ninth.

Tanner Thorson rounded out the top ten.

Friday’s Main Event

1. Christopher Bell
2. Kyle Larson
3. Justin Grant
4. Brady Bacon
5. Zach Daum
6. Tyler Courtney
7. Brad Sweet
8. CJ Leary
9. Logan Seavey
10. Tanner Thorson
11. Danny Stratton
12. Jonathan Beason
13. Tucker Klaasmeyer
14. Colby Copeland
15. Rico Abreu
16. Michael Faccinto
17. Chad Boat
18. David Gravel
19. Cole Bodine
20. Robert Dalby
21. Jake Neuman
22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23. Shane Golobic
24. Sean McClelland