Faster, straighter and smoother: Portland throws new curves at Formula E teams

The inaugural Southwire Portland E-Prix at fast and flowing Portland International Raceway will provide a new set of challenges for the Formula E teams and their Gen3 electric race cars from the street courses that the series regularly race on. Energy management will be crucial, as drivers won’t have the usual assortment of 90-degree corners found on street circuits to regenerate and harvest energy for their cars, which have 350KW of power, are capable of 200mph and can regen a staggering 600KWh of energy. The circuit also offers atypical operating conditions for the series’ spec Hankook tires.

“The race in Portland is held at a permanent racetrack for a change. With this in mind, we are expecting far less dirt than we have seen at some other races this season. That will allow the Hankook iON Race to exploit its high level of grip even better, and above all faster, and to offer the drivers optimal support out on the track,” said Hankook Motorsport Director Manfred Sandbichler. “The temperature is expected to be lower than at the doubleheader in Jakarta, which means the teams will need a different setup for the Gen3 cars, in order to get the tires into their optimal working range.”

More Formula E!

Formula E returns to America with Portland debut

Tokyo joins 2024 Formula E calendar

Guenther scores first Formula E win for Maserati in Jakarta race 2

Nico Müller of the ABT CUPRA team feels the characteristics of the Portland track will help demonstrate the versatility of the series’ all-weather tires — a specification aimed at furthering Formula E’s sustainability goals.


“The Hankook iON Race is a very efficient tire. You can immediately feel that the roll resistance is very low, which is really important in Formula E, in order to save energy during the race,” the Swiss driver noted. “Furthermore, the tire works very well in any condition, which I find extremely impressive.

“In Formula E, there is just one tire for all situations. Whether the track is dry, wet, damp, or dirty, the Hankook iON Race always performs impressively. We do almost all the sessions on a weekend with the same set of tires, and the wear is still very low. That is particularly good for the environment.

“I find the all-around capabilities of the tire really pleasing,” Müller continued. “We cope very well with the tire at every race weekend, as we showed with a one-two in the rainy qualifying in Berlin.”

Extracting the most performance with the least rolling resistance is a part of the Formula E game that Nico Muller feels his ABT CUPRA team excels at. Gareth Harford/Motorsport Images

Phil Charles, technical manager for Jaguar TCS Racing which fields drivers Mitch Evans and Sam Bird, is particularly looking forward to seeing what kind of show the Formula E cars can put on at Portland.

“It promises to be a super high-speed track. It features two of the longest straights we’ve had on this season’s calendar, which will require our drivers to hit that breaking point correctly,” he said. “Turns 4-6 offer corner-to-corner action, so that will be a really exciting part of the lap. Compared to the normal street surfaces we’re used to, Portland International Raceway provides a good, flat surface to race on. Expect to see lots of overtakes, lots of slipstreams, and a really tactical race.”

Portland’s 12th round of the 2023 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is set for 5:00pm local time on Saturday, June 24. The race airs live on CBS Sports Network with coverage starting at 7:30pm ET.

Presented by:

Get access to genuine HPD-developed racing parts and take your vehicle to the next level.


Story originally appeared on Racer