Sam Bird backed up his Saturday win in New York with a pole for today’s second race at the Five Burrows.
“It’s a great result for the team” said Bird. Now I just need to get to the first corner first.
Group 1 saw Sam Bird, Nelson Piquet, Loic Duval, Nicolas Prost and Robin Frijns threading the needle on the relatively green circuit. A steady lap from Prost was perhaps too conservative, allowing Frijns to steal a few precious tenths on the Frenchman, however Sam Bird was full of confidence after his Saturday win, recording a 102.246 to go quickest.
Nelson Piquet could only manage provisional fourth while a lock-up for Duval was an opportunity missed, relegating him down to provisional 5th.
Felix Rosenqvist immediately seized top spot in Group 2, with Daniel Abt jumping into fourth and D’Ambrosio in sixth. Turvey was the big mover in third whilst Antonio Felix Da Costa could only manage ninth, while Piquet was relegated to eighth.
Pierre Gasly, Di Grassi, Evans, Vergne and Sarrazin were up next with Di Grassi needing a pole more than ever whilst championship rival Sebastien Buemi was on WEC duties in Germany. The Brazilian could only manage seventh while rookie Pierre Gasly stunned everyone by taking provisional pole for Renault e.Dams in only his second day on the job.
Group 4 consisted of Dillman, Engel, Heidfeld, Lynn and Carroll. Yesterday’s pole sitter was again throwing his DS Virgin around the narrow confines of the Five Burrows but today could only manage fifteenth. Engel however was in super form and vaulted his Venturi into fifth and Dillman in ninth. Nick Heidfeld put in a tidy lap to secure fifth and bump out Engel.
That left Gasly, Rosenqvist, Vergne, Bird and Heidfeld to shoot out for Super Pole. A few understeery moments for the German served up a time of 1.03:272 while a neat lap from Bird saw the Brit already up on Heidfeld by four tenths halfway through the lap. That would be extended to 1.02:285 and a massive nine-tenths up on the Mahindra driver.
A lock-up for Vergne at the hairpin managed to stop the Techeetah, but did disrupt the Frenchman’s flow through the next few corners, but managed to salvage the final sector to run within two-tenths of Bird. Rosenqvist was able to match Bird’s time for the majority of his lap and was enough to usurp Vergne for second.
All eyes however were on Gasly who had nothing to lose but reputation. The young French driver was a tenth down at the half way mark but endured a lock-up at the hairpin. To his credit, Gasly recognised the laws of physics don’t change after a mistake and salvaged fourth for Renault e.Dams.
Images: FIA Formula E and BMW Motorsport
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