By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
Jean-Eric Vergne survived a chaotic Super Pole round and soared ahead of Season Two champion Sebastien Buemi to claim the Julius Baer Pole Position in Chile.
The Frenchman’s time of 1:19.161 stood as the quickest of the five pole contenders to give Vergne the first starting position for Saturday’s Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix.
As it turned out, the battle for the position came down solely to Vergne and Buemi, who claimed the other spot on the front row with a circuit clocked at 1:19.355.
The other three drivers all found incident.
Defending Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi enjoyed a clean lap around the 1.53-mile Parque Forestal Ciudad De Santiago, slotting in the third position with a time of 1:19.673. But while Vergne’s qualifying effort may have been solid, a 10-race grid penalty that remains from January’s Marrakesh E-Prix means the Brazilian will roll off 13th for the E-Prix.
After topping the morning’s opening practice, Hong Kong E-Prix winner Sam Bird maneuvered his way into contention for the Super Pole round with a third-place effort in the opening run of qualifications. But the DS Virgin Racing star was relegated to fourth after crashing on his effort.
Moments later Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer made his way to the racing circuit to complete the session, only to suffer a similar fate when he stuffed his No. 18 into the outside barrier. Lotterer continued on to the start-finish line to best Bird, giving himself a third-place starting position despite laying down a dreadful 1:46.429.
Di Grassi’s penalty means Nelson Piquet Jr. will complete the top five, with Alex Lynn, Oliver Turvey, Nicolas Prost, Jose Maria Lopez and Daniel Abt rounding out the top 10.
Championship leader Felix Rosenqvist slotted in 14th after a disappointing qualifying effort from Mahindra Racing. Teammate Nick Heidfeld will start behind the Swiss shoe in 15th.
After showing promising pace throughout the day, Mitch Evans was relegated to last on the grid in 20th after going off-course during his qualifying attempt. He’ll have to overtake half of his competitors to give Jaguar a chance to place both drivers in the points.
The Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix will start at 2 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage for American race fans can be found on Formula E radio. The race will air on a tape delay on FOX Sports 1 at 6 p.m. ET.
Santiago E-Prix Qualifying Results
|2||9||Sebastien Buemi||Renault e.dams||1:19.355|
|3||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1:19.673|
|5||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||No Time (Crash)|
Super Pole Cutoff
|6||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:19.300|
|7||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing||1:19.447|
|8||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||1:19.574|
|9||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.dams||1:19.623|
|10||6||Jose Maria Lopez||Dragon Racing||1:19.662|
|11||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1:19.726|
|12||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||1:19.877|
|13||7||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:19.923|
|14||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:19.984|
|15||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:20.012|
|16||28||Antonio Felix da Costa||AS&AD Andretti Formula E||1:20.132|
|17||4||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||1:20.157|
|18||27||Tom Blomqvist||AS&AD Andretti Formula E||1:20.422|
|19||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team||1:31.271|
|20||20||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing||1:40.540|
Santiago E-Prix Preliminary Starting Grid
|2||9||Sebastien Buemi||Renault e.dams|
|4||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing|
|5||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Panasonic Jaguar Racing|
|6||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing|
|7||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team|
|8||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.dams|
|9||6||Jose Maria Lopez||Dragon Racing|
|10||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler|
|11||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team|
|12||7||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Dragon Racing|
|13||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler|
|14||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing|
|15||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing|
|16||28||Antonio Felix da Costa||AS&AD Andretti Formula E|
|17||4||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team|
|18||27||Tom Blomqvist||AS&AD Andretti Formula E|
|19||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team|
|20||20||Mitch Evans||Panasonic Jaguar Racing|