Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy will start from P1 for a second consecutive race as he secured the Julius Baer Pole Position by just 0.010s in London. The Kiwi also picked up the important three points for pole to help Envision in their fight with Jaguar TCS Racing in the Teams’ World Championship.
As the rain started to fall during the final qualifying of the session, several of the championship’s big players fought for their places on the grid before lights out in just a few hours.
The two Kiwi drivers Cassidy and Evans faced each other in the final qualifying of Season 9. With the Teams Championship on the line, and both teams equal on points, the three points for pole would be worth their weight in gold. After an intense fight, it was Cassidy who came out on top by just 0.010s of a second!
Current champion Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) went up against one of his former title rivals in Cassidy for a spot on the front row. These two have reached the Semis together for a third consecutive race, but they’ve only faced one another once - back in Rome. There, it was Dennis who went quickest but in London Cassidy had the edge to start both races at the ExCel from the front row. The new champ starts fourth.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans then took on Nissan’s Norman Nato. Nato has failed to win any of his previous three Semis appearances, and kept this trend running as Evans snapped up the slot in the Final of the Duel. Evans has looked right at home this whole weekend, claiming the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday, as well as the race win yesterday. Nato lines up third.
First up was Sebastien Buemi (Envision Racing) versus newly-crowned champion Jake Dennis. Despite Dennis wrapping up his championship yesterday here in London, the Brit managed to emerge on top to nab a place in the Semi Finals. Both Buemi and Dennis have only lost one Quarter Finals in their last five respective races, but Dennis left the battle victorious. Envision's Buemi will line up seventh on the grid.
Next was Sam Bird and Nick Cassidy, both with Jaguar powertrains in their cars and fighting for their own Teams’ Championship. This was Bird’s first appearance in latter stages of qualifying, both in Superpole or Duels, at London ExCeL, and it was Cassidy who went the quicker of the two. Bird settles for sixth.
Norman Nato took on ABT CUPRA’s Nico Mueller, and despite the rain starting to fall which is known to suit the ABT CUPRA machine, he wasn’t able to progress any further. Nato has lost all his previous three Semis appearances, but made it through today. Mueller starts a lofty eighth.
Last up was DS PENSKE’s Stoffel Vandoorne and yesterday’s fastest man in qualifying, Mitch Evans. These two fought each other in the Duels only 24 hours ago, but were back and replicated the results with Evans securing a slot in the Semi Finals. Vandoorne has now lost his last three Quarter final appearances. The outgoing champion is fifth on the grid.
With Jaguar and Envision equal on points for the Teams’ Standings, it was vital that Buemi, Cassidy and Bird all secured a place in the Duels. Fortunately for them, the three pilots soared through to the final eight, with Season 9 Champion Jake Dennis making it through too.
Cassidy topped Group A with a time of 1m10.521s, with Dennis a tenth behind in second. Buemi finished third with Bird also making it through.
NEOM McLaren’s Rene Rast couldn’t replicate his performance yesterday and get into the Duels, as he was forced to settle for seventh with his teammate Jake Highes in tenth. NIO 333’s Dan Tickum also missed out on consecutive Duels appearances as he crossed the chequered flag in fifth.
Mitch Evans, the man who won yesterday’s E-Prix and topped Free Practice 3 this morning, finished his group top of the timesheets. He’ll be hoping to replicate his pole position for today’s race, but be able to keep it as he had to serve a five-place penalty on Saturday.
At one point in the session, ABT CUPRA’s Nico Mueller set an identical lap time to Evans to the thousandth of a second. His rapid pace was enough to see him finish the session in second, his first Duels appearance since his wet weather masterclass in Berlin. Nissan’s Norman Nato finished in third with Season 8 Champion Stoffel Vandoorne earning himself the final spot in the next round.