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Evans keeps championship battle exciting with pole in Portland

Evans keeps championship battle exciting with pole in Portland

Mitch Evans and his Jaguar TCS Racing start from the Julius Baer Pole Position, as the Kiwi managed to break track records on his way to the top of the grid. The points for pole also keep Evans in contention for the championship, and give the team extra points towards the Teams’ Standing which Jaguar could complete this weekend.

Evans faced Norman Nato (Andretti) in the final, but Nato will start 12th on the grid after receiving a 10-place grid penalty overnight for receiving three reprimands. Instead, NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes will start from the front row alongside Evans.

The big stories from the session were Jaguar’s Nick Cassidy and Pascal Wehrlein missing the Duels, with the two battling it out for the championship in the four remaining races. Cassidy, who leads the standings, will start 11th, with Wehrlein eighth for the race in just a few hours.

Last

The final fight was between Evans and Nato, two good friends. Evans has competed in two finals this year and finished fourth out of 20th on the grid in Portland last year. However, this is Nato’s first appearance in a Duel Final, as he has never taken pole in Formula E.

Although Nato looked quick in the first sector, he could not match Evans, who came through with ease to secure his eighth pole position.

Semi-finals

Mitch Evans took on Jake Hughes in an exciting battle, but it was Evans who guaranteed himself a spot on the front row and posted the fastest time of the entire weekend.

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Then it was Frijns and Nato’s turn, but a small mistake by the Envision Racing driver saw Norman Nato sail through. Despite being in the final, Nato has a 10-place grid penalty for being reprimanded three times this season, so he won’t start from that top spot.

Quarterfinals

First in the quarter-finals were Mitch Evans and Lucas di Grassi. Between them they have 234 starts and 25 race wins, but there could only be one winner and that was Evans. The Jaguar driver is the only one of the top four championship contenders to make it to the Duels and will be hunting for those extra three points.

Next up were Jake Hughes and Edoardo Mortara. Both drivers have taken pole positions this year, but despite a flying start to his lap, Mortara made a big mistake that completely ruined his one shot lap. As we have seen from a few drivers, he ended up on an escape route and rejoined the track via the drag strip.

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Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa, former teammates, then competed. This was Da Costa’s third consecutive Duel and for Frijs it was the end of a series of five races without a Duel stage. Season 6 champion Da Costa managed to make a mistake in the final corner, allowing Frijns to drive through in his Envision.

Finally it was the turn of Dan Ticktum and Norman Nato. For Ticktum’s ERT, this was his first duel appearance in Season 10 and he was the last full-time driver to get a chance in the top eight shootout. Unfortunately, his appearance in the duel was short-lived as NATO progressed.

group A

There was a big shock in the first group when championship leader Nick Cassidy was knocked out and failed to make it to the Duels. At the chequered flag the Jaguar driver was eighth, 0.261s behind Hughes’ best.

For the top four, it was Jake Hughes who was fastest with Mitch Evans just 0.002 seconds behind. ERT’s Sergio Sette Camara was third but as soon as group qualifying was over he was investigated for overpower in release and obstruction. As a result, his lap times from laps four to nine were deleted, disqualifying him from the Duels.

Lucas di Grassi finished fourth and Sette Camara’s penalty allowed Edoardo Mortara and his Mahindra to jump into the Duels.

Evans also had a trip through the grass, when his Jaguar became a part-time lawnmower, but he was able to recover and take the lead of the peloton with just over a minute to go.

Jean-Eric Vergne also had a nightmare ending to his session. The two-time champion was already at the bottom of the times but was then thrown into the spin after avoiding an accident with Sette Camara, who was traveling slowly on the racing line.

Group B

For the second qualifying group, Dan Ticktum went to the top as the ERTs looked super fast over one lap. Behind him was Da Costa, who is chasing a third victory in four races, with Robin Frijns in third place. Norman Nato continued his impressive run of form to qualify for the Duels, despite the Andretti driver having to serve a 10-place grid penalty for today’s race.

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With his biggest championship rival out of the Duels, all eyes were on Pascal Wehrlein to see what he could do. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the lap time right and missed the chance to score another three points for pole.

Caio Collet beat team-mate Sacha Fenestraz in his opening qualifying session, with the Brazilian making his Formula E debut this weekend when he replaced the unwell Oliver Rowland.