Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird has taken pole position for this afternoon’s Marrakesh E-Prix after a titantic battle in super pole. Reigning champion Jean Eric Vergne will line up second with championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa in third.
The new rules for Qualifying in Season Five mean that the top five in the championship go out in group one, then the next five in group two, with six cars in both groups three and four. Following the groups, the top six will then go through to superpole.
Group one consisted of Da Costa, Vergne, D’Ambrosio, Evans and Lotterer. Da Costa, Vergne and Evans would all make it through to superpole while D’Ambrosio will line up tenth and Lotterer made a mistake and will start 20th.
Group two consisted of Buemi, Rowland, Abt, Di Grassi and Piquet. Buemi was the only one to make the superpole session. Piquet will line up ninth, Di Grassi and Rowland eleventh and twelfth and Abt in 15th.
Group three consisited of both Virgin racers, both NIO racers, Maxi Gunther and Stoffel Vandoorne. Bird made it to the superpole session with Frijns in eighth. Turvey will start 14th with Dillmann in 18th. Both Guther and Vandoorne ran into issues while looking good for a top ten start.
However the session didnt end theres as when the cars got back to pit lane, Dillmann’s brakes stopped working and went into Frijns who then in turn went into Bird. There was minimal damage to Bird’s car however Dilmann’s front wing and Frijns’ diffuser were damaged.
This delayed the start to group four, which consisted of Massa, Sims, Mortara, Lopez, Paffett and Formula E debutant Pascal Wehrlein. Sims got through to Superpole, Wehrlein ended 0.02 away from a spot in superpole in seventh, Lopez ended 13th, Massa 15th, Mortara 17th and Paffett 19th.
Evans went out first in Superpole and made a mistake on his lap, running on at turn seven. He will line up sixth. Vergne went second and set the fastest lap of qualifying so far. Da Costa improved after a bad opening to the lap to finish just a tenth off Vergne. Sims then went out but ended eight tenths adrift of Vergne. Buemi set a lap just two tenths behind Vergne, and it was between the two title hopefuls from season four, Bird was up through every sector to take his first pole since the 2017 New York ePrix.
The race gets underway at 1500UTC.