Vergne shoots to pole for second race at Portland E-Prix

Jean-Eric Vergne claimed his third pole of the season in the second half of the Portland E-Prix, narrowly defeating Saturday race winner Antonio Felix da Costa in the qualifying Duels final.

DS Penske driver Vergne’s time in the final of 1m08.77 was a mere 0.025s quicker than TAG Heuer Porsche’s da Costa, who will start on the front row of the grid for the first time this season.

Vergne survived a slide at the final turn in his first Duel to see off championship leader Nick Cassidy of Jaguar TCS Racing – who ran wide at Turn 7 – and Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns en route to the final, while da Costa beat teammate Pascal Wehrlein in his opening duel before defeating NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird in the semifinals.


Da Costa topped his group session ahead of Bird, Mahindra’s Nyck de Vries, and Wehrlein, with the Andretti pairing of Jake Dennis and Norman Nato among the high profile casualties in that session. Dennis ran wide at the final turn as the clock ran down, but ended up so far off course that the yellow flags didn’t fly and he wasn’t saved from a flurry of late times that relegated him from a transfer spot.

Vergne was second quickest in the opening group, advancing with a late lap to slot in second behind Frijns. Jake Hughes was another latecomer, going fourth quickest to be the last driver to advance, behind Cassidy.

The late times from Vergne and Hughes ensured that Saturday polesitter Mitch Evans wouldn’t advance, dropping out late on along with Maserati MSG’s Jehan Daruvala

Vergne’s pole, his 17th of his career, means he’s now the undisputed holder of Formula E’s all-time poles record, moving ahead of Sebastien Buemi whom he had shared it with since the first race at the Shanghai E-Prix last month.

Bird will line up third, behind da Costa and ahead of Frijns, with his McLaren teammate Hughes fifth, Cassidy sixth, Wehrlein seventh, and de Vries, Daruvala, and DS Penske driver Stoffel Vandoorne completing the top-10.

Evans will start Sunday’s race 10 spots beck from where he began Saturday’s encounter, lining up 11th, alongside Edoardo Mortara (Mahindra), with Nico Mueller (Abt Cupra) 13th, Sacha Fenestraz (Nissan) 14th, the ERTs of Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara 15th and 16th, and Buemi, Dennis, Lucas di Grassi (Abt Cupra), Nato, Maximilian Guenther (Maserati), and Caio Collet (Nissan) completing the grid.


Story originally appeared on Racer