NEOM McLaren’s Rene Rast topped the first practice session of the Southwire Portland E-Prix fastest, as the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship broke several series records on the Portland International Raceway circuit.
Rast, who has not been in the top five in any practice session this season, set a time of 1m09.054s which put him quickest of the field of 22 drivers. The DS Penske of Jean-Eric Vergne was just 0.172s behind him to finish second, with the NIO 333 of Dan Ticktum completing the top three.
Jaguar TCS Racing’s Sam Bird lined up in fourth, and the winner last time out in Jakarta, Maserati MSG Racing’s Maximilian Guenther finished in fifth.
As the grid got to grips with the two-mile natural terrain road course, the times tumbled with seconds being taken off each lap, and just minutes into the session the McLaren of Rast became the first driver to break Sacha Fenestraz’s all-time Formula E average speed record. Maserati MSG Racing’s Edoardo Mortara then recorded the first 100mph average lap in Formula E history.
Several drivers found the limits and exceeded them in this first practice session of the weekend, with the likes of Vergne and Ticktum each taking a journey off the circuit over the 30-minute session, although this didn’t stop them finishing top three.
Mahindra Racing’s Lucas di Grassi has had a rollercoaster season so far. The Season 3 champion started the season with pole position and third place in Mexico City but hasn’t achieved a single championship point since then. However, he will be pleased with his and the team’s pace in FP1, as he topped the timesheets for most of the session and finished in 10th.
The Jaguar TCS Racing of Mitch Evans hit a 171.9mph top speed on his final flying lap of the session, an impressive stat to accompany Jaguar’s Sam Bird who also became the first driver to break a speed of 275km/h (171mph) for the first time Formula E history.
UP NEXT: Free Practice 2, 1:30pm ET