Portland a case of ‘right place, right time’ for da Costa

Antonio Felix da Costa knows a thing or two about losing a clear win because of a stewards’ decision. Only this time around, he was the beneficiary.

At the first race of the Misano E-Prix, the TAG Heuer Porsche driver ended a dismal run of form to win on the road, only for an illegal part to disqualify him later on. In Portland, Mitch Evans crossed the line first, but a penalty for contact with NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes dropped him down the order.

Da Costa knows exactly how it feels, but that didn’t stop him enjoying the moment.

“I’ve got to say congrats to Mitch because he did win this one on the track and I know how it feels to have one taken away, so hats off to him,” he conceded. “But we’ll take it; we did everything right today. It’s always hard fighting against two cars of the same team, but we were able to put the Jags under pressure there, and with Nick making a mistake at the end…”


After a relatively anonymous race for his championship-challenging teammate, da Costa was fighting a solo battle for Porsche against the strong Jaguar pairing of Evans and Nick Cassidy, but with Evans’ penalty and a late race spin for Cassidy – which cost him a probable win – the Portuguese driver came out on top.

“I just really wanted to keep it clean and be there at the end and see how it unfolded,” da Costa said. “It looked like I was going to finish third and then Nick made a mistake, Mitch had a penalty, and we took the win there at the end so it’s an amazing run of races to be honest.”

The win, whatever form it might take, is da Costa’s third of the year and third from the last four races. It’s a remarkable turnaround in form for a driver who not only failed to register a podium in the first nine races of the year (including the stripped win in Italy), but also was the subject of paddock rumors regarding his future within the Porsche team.

“I will never ever, after what I’ve been through this year, take any win or any podium for granted. I got lucky today to get this win so I’ll make sure to enjoy it for sure,” he said of his rebound. “I’ve learnt a lot about myself, I’ve learnt a lot about people, about sports, about everything. I think when you have bad times and you take the good stuff out of it, you become a little bit stronger.

“Everyone here’s been up and down in their life at some point in racing so – today we were lucky – I’ll never take them for granted. I’ll be happy, I’ll celebrate because I know how hard it is to win a race these days, so I’ll definitely take this one.”

Story originally appeared on Racer