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Hong Kong E-Prix: Pole for Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne sealed his and HWA’s first ABB FIA Formula E pole position in a wet qualifying session for the Hong Kong E-Prix.

The former McLaren Formula 1 driver was the last runner in superpole as both he and HWA teammate Gary Paffett made the top six cut-off.

Oliver Rowland had placed his Nissan e.dams car on provisional pole with a 1m11.903s lap and had looked set to hold onto the position when Vandoorne went slightly deep into the Turn 1 hairpin.

But Vandoorne recovered with a stunning final sector to seal pole by 0.323s.

That meant Rowland held onto second place ahead of Edoardo Mortara.

But Mortara will not keep his third place start after he was hit with a three-place grid drop for speeding under a red flag.

That red flag was caused by Jean-Eric Vergne in a torrid qualifying session for the reigning champion.

Vergne lost control of the rear of his DS Techeetah car at the end of his fast lap in group two and collided with the wall just after he set a time good enough for fourth.

He was subsequently penalised for causing the red flag and his best times were deleted, demoting him into 18th place.

Vergne’s teammate Andre Lotterer will now start the race in third ahead of HWA’s Gary Paffett.

Both Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird impressed to qualify fifth and seventh despite having the first-on-the-road disadvantage from running in group one.

Sebastien Buemi was just over three tenths slower than his Nissan teammate, but could only qualify eighth behind Bird.

Venturi’s Felipe Massa was ninth after running wide at Turn 1 but it proved enough to hold off practice pacesetter Robin Frijns in 10th.

NIO’s Tom Dillmann and Dragon Racing duo Felipe Nasr and Jose Maria Lopez had the advantage of being in group four, but failed to make an impression on the leading times.

Dillmann qualified in 11th, with Lopez’s 14th place proving to be two places higher than Felipe Nasr.

At the other end of the scale, the group one disadvantage caught out BMW Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa and the Mahindra Racing pairing of Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d’Ambrosio.

The trio qualified in the last three spots on the grid, with da Costa heading Wehrlein and championship leader d’Ambrosio.

Provisional grid:

Cla#DriverTeamTimeGap
15 Stoffel Vandoorne  HWA AG1’11.580
222 Oliver Rowland  DAMS1’11.9030.323
336 Andre Lotterer  Techeetah1’12.8681.288
417 Gary Paffett  HWA AG1’13.0331.453
511 Lucas di Grassi  Team Abt1’14.1772.597
648 Edoardo Mortara  Venturi1’12.3100.730
72 Sam Bird  Virgin Racing1’12.5290.949
823 Sébastien Buemi  DAMS1’12.5290.949
919 Felipe Massa  Venturi1’12.5700.990
104 Robin Frijns  Virgin Racing1’12.6001.020
118 Tom Dillmann  NIO Formula E Team1’12.8391.259
1266 Daniel Abt  Team Abt1’12.8501.270
1327 Alexander Sims  Andretti Autosport1’12.8611.281
147 Jose Maria Lopez  Dragon Racing1’13.0731.493
153 Nelson Piquet Jr.  Jaguar Racing1’13.4211.841
166 Felipe Nasr  Dragon Racing1’13.8852.305
1720 Mitch Evans  Jaguar Racing1’13.9202.340
1825 Jean-Eric Vergne  Techeetah1’13.9272.347
1916 Oliver Turvey  NIO Formula E Team1’14.1332.553
2028 Antonio Felix da Costa  Andretti Autosport1’14.3842.804
2194 Pascal Wehrlein  Mahindra Racing1’14.8303.250
2264 Jérôme d’Ambrosio  Mahindra Racing1’15.3473.767

Source: Motorsport

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