Dennis: Drive to Survive really made America come alive

Jake Dennis is just one point behind championship leader Pascal Wehrlein with five Formula E races remaining in 2023

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Jake Dennis says Formula 1 Netflix series Drive to Survive has made motorsport come alive in the United States as Formula E heads to America for the 2023 Portland E-Prix on Saturday.

The Portland E-Prix is Formula E’s ninth visit to the USA, this time with a debut at the Portland International Raceway as the all-electric-series makes a move to Oregon after racing in New York five of the past six seasons.

Portland becomes the fourth American city to host a race, following Long Beach, Miami, and New York.

“I think America at the moment is just massive in terms of motorsport,” said Dennis. “Drive to Survive has really made America come alive in motorsport. Obviously, I know that’s Formula 1, but I think for Formula E also, and general motorsport that really got the back end of all that promising viewership.

“To continue on in America with Portland as a new location, an IndyCar circuit, hopefully it can bring in really good fans and viewers. I think it’s just important that Formula E stays on the American soil.

“And I think it’ll just be a great event as a whole. I think the racing will allow a good, spectacular event with the amount of overtaking we’re about to see and with the amount of energy saving we have to do.”

Dennis: When the boss comes we don’t do well!

Dennis is just one point behind championship leader Pascal Wehrlein, having secured two second places in Jakarta.

The Andretti driver had four non-points finishes in the middle of the season but has bounced back with four consecutive podiums, with just five races remaining.

Andretti boss Michael Andretti will be in Portland and Dennis joked the team normally don’t meet expectations when he’s present.

“Normally, to be honest, whenever the big boss comes, we don’t perform all that well,” said Dennis. But having Michael there, it’s going to be a really big event for us in general, the sponsorship, and the boss coming to a home race.

Jake Dennis in action at the 2023 Jakarta E-Prix | Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

“I have every bit of trust in the team that they can give me the package to try and win the race, or if not podium, but, ultimately, it’s a really big opportunity for us to try do it. It’s a big race for Andretti and some IndyCar drivers from Andretti will come over.”

He continued: “It means a lot as you put in all this hard work. I’m still relatively new to Formula E. It is only my third year. To have this opportunity in front of me is super important. We’ve worked hard for it, and I really want to go the full way and try and deliver the result.

“When you know you’re in the championship hunt, like all season, and it doesn’t quite come off at the end then you’re pretty disappointed. This year, we’ve been in the top three of the championship the whole way through and really had every opportunity to try and win it, so I’d be disappointed if I don’t.”

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