Victory for Frijns sees Virgin Racing end the season on a high

by Nathan Hine
Envision Virgin Racing after winning the second race in New York City

Envision Virgin Racing finished the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship on a high after Robin Frijns secured his second win of the season during the thrilling championship climax at the 2019 New York City ePrix.

Frijns executed two brilliant overtaking manoeuvres during the course of the ePrix, first on Sebastien Buemi and then for the lead on Alexander Sims. The victory for the Dutchman was his first points finish since his win in Paris last April. Frijns’s win combined with Sam Bird’s fine fourth place finish was enough for Virgin to take third place in the constructors championship over Nissan e. dams by a single point.

After starting the final race of the season from the front row of the grid, the Dutchman lost a place to Buemi on the run down into the first corner due to the lack of grip on the right-hand side of the grid. But he soon recovered to second, before charging past the BMW i Andretti Motorsports car of Sims. From there, he never looked back and took the chequered flag by a comfortable 3.2 s to end a long-standing points drought for the Dutchman.

After the race, Frijns was delighted and relieved to have won the final race of the season in equal measure and said:

“At times, it has not always been easy this season even though we’ve had a strong car from Audi Sport, so it’s great to finish on a high, and I think the whole team needed that.

Everything went smoothly today, and after I got passed Sims, it was a case of managing the energy and the tyres to bring the car home safely.

For sure, it’s a big relief to get this result as since Paris we’ve had four non-finishes which has been tough. Overall, it’s been a really good first season with Envision Virgin Racing and I’m really pleased to end with a win.”   

Team-mate Bird also drove another solid race to finish fourth on the road. He was not quite able to get past Buemi and Sims in front, but had enough pace to keep behind the aggressive Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler of Daniel Abt throughout the race duration.

After the race, Bird added: “Today was another good result for me and the team here in New York and I am delighted to say that we finished third in the teams’ championship, which is an amazing achievement considering this was our first season as an independent team.

We’ve had very little testing compared to other teams so to come away with this result is even better and a credit to everybody at Envision Virgin Racing. Thank you to everybody who has supported us this season, especially our fans, and we are looking forward to stronger and better results in season six.”

Commenting on the result, Managing Director at Envision Virgin Racing Sylvain Filippi said: “That was a great drive today by Robin and Sam and a fantastic way to cap off a really competitive season for the Envision Virgin Racing team.

The result today, and all the highs this season, are a testament to the hard work, dedication and skillset of each and every member of the team and I’m extremely proud of them all.

As an independent team, to finish third in the constructors’ championship makes it even more rewarding and we’re already looking forward to continuing our successes when the new season starts in November.”

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