Photo: Sam Bloxham/LAT/Formula E

Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne Claims Santiago E-Prix Pole

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

Position  Car No. Driver Team Time
1 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah 1:19.161
2 9 Sebastien Buemi Renault e.dams 1:19.355
3 1 Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler 1:19.673
4 18 Andre Lotterer Techeetah 1:46.429
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

Position Car No. Driver Team
1 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Techeetah
2 9 Sebastien Buemi Renault e.dams
3 18 Andre Lotterer Techeetah
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

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Aaron Bearden is a Contributing Writer for Motorsports Tribune, handling coverage of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A native Hoosier, Bearden has attended races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he was three years old. He can be found on social media at @AaronBearden93.