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Di Grassi Claims Provisional Pole in Dramatic Qualifying

Lucas di Grassi on provisional pole at Punta del Este but under investigation…

Photo: Formula E

Lucas di Grassi will provisionally start this afternoon’s Punta del Este E-Prix from pole position, following incident-filled qualifying and Super Pole sessions for the sixth round of the 2017-18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver set a best time in Super Pole of 1:13.948 to likely secure his first pole position since the Montreal finale last season.

DS Virgin Racing’s Alex Lynn is set to join the Brazilian on the front row with a lap time two-tenths slower than the Audi driver’s.

Both di Grassi and Lynn were placed under investigation for hitting a bollard at the final chicane, calling for a stewards’ review.

As a result, third-fastest Mitch Evans could later be given the pole position if di Grassi and Lynn are penalized for hitting the bollard.

Oliver Turvey set the fourth fastest time in his NIO car while points leader Jean-Eric Vergne lost time with a mistake on his lap and was fifth fastest in his Techeetah.

Mexico City E-Prix victor Daniel Abt just missed out on Super Pole and starts sixth ahead of two-time Punta del Este winner Sebastien Buemi, Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer, Venturi’s Maro Engel and Sam Bird who completes the top ten positions.

The qualifying session also saw incidents throughout the groups with numerous accidents befalling several drivers.

Nick Heidfeld caused the only red flag when he crashed his Mahindra car in to the tech-pro barrier at the final chicane.

His teammate Felix Rosenqvist qualified a lowly 14th after glancing the wall on his qualifying lap.

There was also drama for Nicolas Prost who crashed out of the group stages when he impacted the wall at Turn 15. The Renault e.dams team faces a race against time to get his car ready for the race this afternoon.

But the most crucial came when Nelson Piquet Jr. ended his session in the Turn 10 wall. The Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver was on course to break through in to Super Pole but will now start from the final row of the grid.

Tom Blomqvist also hit the wall in the final complex and lost a possible top-ten starting position in the process.

The Andretti driver faced the prospect of a potential penalty in the race as his team continue to evaluate the damage from his practice session crash earlier today.

The Punta del Este E-Prix gets underway at 4 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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