Win number six for Nick Cassidy arrived in just his third outing for Jaguar TCS Racing and hot on the heels of a debut podium at his new team in the Mexico City E-Prix opener and another trip to the rostrum in Round 2 just a day prior.
Both Cassidy and teammate Mitch Evans thought the pace was in the car to take P1 on Sunday's race after a strong showing, despite Evans' last-lap dive for second backfiring. Cassidy proved that to be the case, qualifying well in third and climbing by Robin Frijns in the Jaguar powered Envision Racing and polesitter Oliver Rowland in the Nissan to take the chequered flag first.
Cassidy pushed at just the right time to stay with the top two on-track through the first round of ATTACK MODE activations, of which drivers have two of the 50kW boosts to take in every Formula E race. He was able to get out front and stay there before retaining his gap at the head of the pack as the second round of ATTACK MODE activations came about.
A 2.5-second cushion was enough and he seemingly had plenty in the tank to keep Frijns at arms' length behind - despite the two running the same Jaguar powertrain and Cassidy having to punch through the air out front, with those behind taking advantage of the more energy-efficient running in the slipstream.
It was a close-run thing, though, with the top three split by just a second, and the top 10 by only six seconds, for much of the final quarter of an intense Diriyah E-Prix Round 3.
Dream start for Cassidy but there'll be no overconfidence at Jaguar
Cassidy's 50th race brought the win but he's been around long enough in Formula E to know that nothing's won after just three rounds of a 16-round season where there's a dozen drivers thinking they're in with a title shot.
Despite the pragmatism, the Kiwi was keen to take in the moment.
"This has been such a dream start," said Cassidy. "I'm just waiting for something to go wrong - that day will come - but in this moment, we're riding the wave.
"I'm feeling really good. It's super important in these moments to celebrate because it's so hard to win in this championship that you never know when the next one might come around - so I'm enjoying it right now. I'm really privileged to have such a great car - I'm very lucky.
With the margins so fine, and reigning champion Jake Dennis throwing down the gauntlet with Formula E's second-largest winning margin ever on Friday, Cassidy feels it really could have been any one driver from half a dozen for the top step in Round 3 - he was just thankful he and Jaguar played it right and it was the Kiwi who crossed the line in P1.
"There's 13 races left and it's a long way to go so we certainly can't afford to be overconfident but this group is super close - it could have been Robin (Frijns) or Oliver (Rowland), Jake (Dennis) dominated Round 2, and in Round 3 it could have been me, so we're just lucky that it was us.
"We can't make any big statements."