DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird made history at the weekend by becoming the first ever winner of a car race in New York City during the all-electric Formula E ePrix. The Brit clinched victory with a stunning drive from fourth on the grid to claim the honours - the fourth of his and the team’s Formula E career - in front of a packed Brooklyn crowd.
And not content with making history once, Bird went on next day to win the second Formula E ePrix event
Cheered on by Virgin founder and the team’s reserve driver Sir Richard Branson, Bird quickly worked his way up the field during the early stages of the first race before making a great pass up the inside of the hairpin to take the lead from Daniel Abt. A precision pit stop then allowed him to maintain his lead and control the gap to Jean Eric Vergne behind. With five laps to go, a brief safety car period meant there would be a two-lap dash to the line when the race resumed but Bird executed a perfect restart and never looked in doubt as he took the chequered flag and a place in the history books.
Next day, starting from pole, Bird slipped back to second place but by lap 9, after a period behind the safety car in a tight bunch, he shot into the lead and never relinquished the front spot, crossing the line 11 seconds ahead of the second placed driver after an extended 49 lap race.
Team Principal Alex Tai said: “To win the first ever race in New York is just fantastic and the whole team have done an amazing job. We’ve shown all season that we have race-winning pace so to demonstrate our true capabilities at such a historic event is a great feeling.”