BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Alexander Sims claimed his second pole position of the Diriyah E-Prix weekend for Saturday’s race in Saudi Arabia.
The Englishman turned in a time of 1:11.4676 to put his BMW iFE.20 top of the order in Superpole despite a dramatic powerslide through the Turn 17 left-hander.
His former BMW teammate Antonio Felix da Costa led the qualifying group stage and initially looked set to beat Sims’ time in Superpole but the DS Techeetah driver lost control of his car coming out of Turn 14.
Da Costa subsequently dropped two and a half seconds and will line up sixth for today’s 45-minute race, while Sims will share the front row of the grid with Sebastien Buemi.
A time of 1:11.696 put Nissan’s Buemi two-tenths off the pace, but it was enough for the Swiss driver to narrowly beat Lucas di Grassi who will start third for Audi.
Fourth in Superpole was Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans, ahead of Mahindra driver Jerome d’Ambrosio.
Race 1 winner Sam Bird will start seventh on the grid after being edged out of contention for the top-six Superpole shootout right at the end of the group stages.
He will start ahead of Edoardo Mortara in the Mercedes-powered ROKiT Venturi Racing car and Sims’ BMW i Andretti Motorsport teammate Maximilian Guenther.
Andre Lottterer, who gave Porsche a podium on its Formula E debut yesterday, rounded out the qualifying top ten ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne.
Mercedes had a difficult session after taking its own maiden podium in the 2019-20 season opener.
Race 1 runner-up Stoffel Vandoorne could only manage the 12th best time in the groups while Nyck de Vries ended up two seconds off the pace and will start last on the 24-car grid.