Sam Bird and Mitch Evans delivered the goods for Jaguar Racing in qualifying ahead of the second race of Formula E's 2021 trip to New York City, with the duo filling the front-row ahead of Round 10 polesitter Nick Cassidy (Envision Virgin Racing).
Bird's turnaround after Saturday's Free Practice 1 shunt and rapid rebuild hit the next level after impressive pace there saw him recover from 20th to ninth and points in Round 10. Bird had said that he felt the I-TYPE 5 was the quickest machine around Red Hook after his efforts in race one and the Brit's now perfectly poised to capitalise.
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"We've had a string of bad luck - some my fault and some no fault of our own," said Bird. "As a team, it's incredible and we fought hard yesterday. This is just rewards for the guys who worked so hard to give me a great racing car for today."
It's a front row lockout for @JaguarRacing🔥@sambirdofficial claims pole position for Round 11 in Brooklyn! Is it coming home? 😉— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) July 11, 2021
🇺🇸 2021 ABB #NYCEPrixpic.twitter.com/7WlW1ppoTd
Evans was pipped by his teammate's storming 1m8.572s at the last, though by less than a tenth of-a-second. The Kiwi's lap looked like being a scruffy one with a lock-up into Turn 1 and contact with the wall through the first sector but he attacked hard through the middle section of the lap and after flinging the Jaguar out of the final Clinton Wharf turn, had done enough to clamber ahead of Cassidy’s early benchmark time.
Cassidy himself almost made it two from two in Brooklyn after securing his second Formula E pole position yesterday but he'll still be pleased with third, having suffered a little on energy management leading from the front. The top three were split by just 0.091 seconds - half a car length!
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Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein also gives himself a strong base to work from with fourth, leaving nothing on the table through an aggressive, kerb-hopping effort.
DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT look well placed to make progress from fifth, with Sergio Sette Camara doing the business and making Super Pole on home soil for Jay Penske's team.
Andre Lotterer rounded out the top six with his first Super Pole appearance since Valencia.
Group 1 went off, again
After Group 1 drama in qualifying ahead of Round 10, there was yet more angst this time around with joint standings leader Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) overshooting Turn 1 and losing a second, a big lock-up for Antonio Felix da Costa and DS TECHEETAH teammate Jean-Eric Vergne losing drive entirely, preventing him setting a time at all.
Frijns, Mercedes-EQ's Nyck de Vries and Vergne proved to be the big losers of those right at the sharp end of the Drivers' points table, and will start 21st, 22nd and 24th respectively, with it all to do.
The ABB New York City E-Prix is up next at 1330 local time.
Sorry guys… feeling gutted. We had a problem during Qualy…. Let’s focus on the race, we have the pace and hopefully the fanboost. Scoring points is my only goal right now 👊🏼⚡️ @DSTECHEETAH@DS_Performance#JEV25https://t.co/tTpjWiHHDP— Jean-Eric Vergne (@JeanEricVergne) July 11, 2021