Jean-Eric Vergne claimed the first pole position of the new Formula E season in Hong Kong after a thrilling Super Pole session.
The Frenchman took the top spot with a 1:03.568 time and spectacularly completed the pole lap backwards as he lost control at the final corner. But it didn’t stop him securing the first ever pole position for the Techeetah team which is racing on home ground this weekend.
Vergne’s memorable lap was just 0.027s ahead of Sam Bird. The DS Virgin driver made a slight mistake at the second hairpin but did enough to confirm a front-row start.
Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld and the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler car of Daniel Abt will form the second row of the grid.
Felix Rosenqvist ensured there were two Mahindra M4Electro cars in the top-five, although lost out on challenging for pole after locking his brakes at the first hairpin on his Super Pole lap.
Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi, meanwhile, just missed out on making it to the Super Pole session and starts sixth.
There was drama aplenty in the earlier Group sessions as Edoardo Mortara clipped the wall with the left rear of his Venturi car which in turn pitched him headlong into further contact with the barrier.
It occurred just after Mortara had set the quickest overall sector one time, adding to the frustration of the Italian-Swiss debutant, who will start 18th.
Sebastien Buemi completed an atypical conservative run in ninth, while his Renault e.dams teammate Nicolas Prost fared even worse, as he crashed spectacularly on his quick lap.
The incident also had ramifications for Jerome d’Ambrosio, as his Dragon Racing Penske collected trackside signage which has become entangled in Prost’s Renault. The incident caused the only red flag of the sessions.
Practice 2 pace-setter Mitch Evans missed out on posting a full 200kW lap at all after a miscommunication by his Panasonic Jaguar Racing team, meaning he will start 19th.
Neel Jani, meanwhile, starts last for his first Formula E race after he was forced to take a 10-place grid penalty for a battery change ahead of the practice sessions. He had qualified 17th.
The first round of the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Championship is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. local time.