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Buemi Takes Marrakesh Pole in Incident-Filled Qualifying

Renault e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi rockets to pole for Marrakesh E-Prix…

Photo: Formula E

Sebastien Buemi will start this afternoon’s Marrakesh E-Prix from the pole, following an incident-filled qualifying and Super Pole for the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The Renault e.dams driver reeled off a 1:20.355 in his Renault Z.E 17 to score his 9th career pole.

Buemi edged out points leader Sam Bird, of DS Virgin Racing, by 0.260 seconds after issues for both Felix Rosenqvist and reigning champion Lucas di Grassi in the shootout.

Rosenqvist nearly brushed the wall on his flying lap, relegating the Hong Kong Race 2 winner to third on the grid, while an MGU error put di Grassi fifth, more than one-second off the pace from pole-sitter Buemi.

Jose Maria Lopez, in his first race for Dragon Racing, qualified a surprise fourth in his Penske EV-2, after setting the third quickest time in Group 1.

It marked a turnaround in fortunes for the Jay Penske-led operation, which struggled in last month’s season opener.

Alex Lynn will start from sixth, followed by the Jaguar I-Type of Nelson Piquet Jr., who said track conditions impeded his Super Pole chances.

The Group 4 session was halted due to a heavy accident by Antonio Felix da Costa, who slammed his Andretti ATEC-03 hard into the Turn 7 barriers on his flying lap.

Daniel Abt and Oliver Turvey, whose runs were interrupted by da Costa’s crash, qualified 8th and 10th, respectively after being given a second attempt.

Nick Heidfeld, meanwhile, made contact with the outside of Turn 11 in Group 3, causing damage to his Mahindra M4Electro.

Both accidents caused delays due to track cleanup.

Formula E debutant Tom Blomqvist also found himself in the wall, but with significantly less damage and still managed to set the third quickest time in Group 1.

Electrical gremlins continued for Edoardo Mortara’s Venturi VM200-FE, who stopped in the final corner during his qualifying attempt, and will roll off from dead last on the grid.

The Marrakesh E-Prix gets underway at 4 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of e-racing365. Dagys, who launched the industry-leading Sportscar365 in 2013, spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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