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Da Costa wins Africa’s 1st ePrix in Cape Town

ON a beautiful sunny afternoon, right under the Table Mountain, Antonio Felix da Costa made history by winning the ABB FIA Formula E world championship – The Cape Town ePrix – and the first on African soil.

The street race was filled with drama, with several key drivers, including championship leader Pascal Wehrlein, crashing out.

Da Costa, driving for Porsche, drove a bold race and impressed with his brave overtaking skills after starting 11th, to register his first win in the championship. The victory also delivered glimpses of the ability of Da Costa, who won the championship in the 2019-20 season. His Cape Town heroics have lifted him to the 4th in the overall standings.

DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne came second with Nick Cassidy third for Envision Racing.

The drama at the Cape Town race started off the field. Before the race started, Mahindra and customer team ABT Cupra withdrew their four cars due to safety concerns about the rear suspension. Jaguar’s Sam Bird also failed to start due to car damage sustained in a qualifying crash.

The highest point of the drama came when Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz, who had taken pole with the fastest lap in Formula E history at an average speed of 154.987 kph, hit the wall and ended his race.

Championship leader Wehrlein, who collided with Envision’s Sebastien Buemi, leads the championship with 80 points. He is followed by Jake Dennis’s 62 for Avalanche Andretti. Vergne is third on 50 and da Costa has 46. The next meeting is in Sao Paulo on March 25.

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The Cape Town race was special for the South African and African fans but more so for ABT Cupra driver Kelvin Van der Linde. It was a Formula E debut for the South African on the same weekend his brother Sheldon, who was racing in Johannesburg.

Ahead of the race weekend, South African native and Jaguar TCS Racing Team Principal James Barclay said: “Having grown up in South Africa and watched the last world championship race there in 1993 at Kyalami, it is a proud moment for myself and the other South African members of the team to be part of the return of top tier racing to this passionate motorsport country.”

By The African Mirror

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