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Qualifying report
Formula E Portland ePrix II

Portland E-Prix: Vergne sets new Formula E pole record

Jean-Eric Vergne takes outright Formula E pole record in Portland

Pole man Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, celebrates with the Julius Baer Pole Position Award

Pole man Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Penske, celebrates with the Julius Baer Pole Position Award

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Jean-Eric Vergne claimed his third pole position of the season and a new outright Formula E record ahead of the Portland E-Prix, beating Antonio Felix da Costa by just 0.025s.

The DS Penske driver produced a 1m08.779s having been just fractionally faster in the first and third sectors at the Portland International Raceway and with it his 17th Formula E pole which is a new record.

Vergne advanced to the final at the expense of Envision’s Robin Frijns, the two podium finishers from Saturday’s race separated by 0.219s at the line, with McLaren’s Sam Bird just over a tenth off da Costa’s best, the Portuguese driver seeking a hat-trick of wins on the bounce later today.

Despite Pascal Wehrlein being only 24 points off Nick Cassidy in the championship battle, no team orders were at play when the Porsche team-mates went up against each other in the quarter-finals.

Da Costa comfortably advanced by 0.373s over Wehrlein with a 1m08.750s that was the fastest time in qualifying and which denied the German the chance of fighting for the three points awarded for pole.

Cassidy himself failed to progress to the semi-finals as he fell 0.141s short in his battle against Vergne, despite being fractionally quicker in the opening sector.

Just 0.014s separated McLaren’s Jake Hughes and Frijns, with the latter coming out on top, as Bird finished nearly two tenths quicker than Mahindra’s Nyck de Vries.

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Polesitter for Saturday’s race and on-the-road winner before a five-second penalty was applied, Mitch Evans failed to progress from the opening qualifying group as the Jaguar driver dropped out by just over half a tenth.

He finished sixth behind Maserati MSG’s Jehan Daruvala, who in turn missed the cut by only 0.003s, as Frijns headed Vergne, Cassidy and Hughes.

Also eliminated were Nico Muller (Abt), Dan Ticktum (ERT), Lucas di Grassi (Abt) and the second Maserati MSG of Maximilian Guenther as just 0.340s covered 10 drivers.

The second Envision of Sebastien Buemi was also eliminated in eighth, before he was stripped of his fastest laps due to a technical infraction.

Saturday’s race winner da Costa topped the second group with a 1m09.726s as he was joined by Bird, de Vries and team-mate Wehrlein.

Ahead of Andretti’s home race, reigning champion Jake Dennis could only manage ninth after losing control into Turn 12 and suffering a high-speed spin on his final effort.

Team-mate Norman Nato had earlier gone off on the exit of Turn 11 and fared no better at the chequered flag, finishing 10th.

Norman Nato, Andretti Global, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Norman Nato, Andretti Global, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Moments after the Frenchman had gone off, he was joined on the grass by Nissan’s Caio Collet, with Oliver Rowland’s stand-in finishing the session last and under investigation after rejoining into the path of Edoardo Mortara.

The Mahindra driver, who claimed his best result of the season with fourth in yesterday’s race, was also eliminated in sixth, just a fraction behind DS Penske’s Stoffel Vandoorne who missed the cut by 0.004s.

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