DS Virgin Racing substitute driver Alex Lynn has taken a stunning pole position for the New York ePrix on his Formula E debut.

Having set the fourth fastest time in regular qualifying, Lynn was the second car on circuit for Super Pole and posted a 1:03.296 lap time which couldn’t be matched by the following three drivers.

Daniel Abt will line up in second position, ahead of the Techeetah of Jean-Éric Vergne and Lynn’s teammate Sam Bird. Bird had been the fastest driver across the qualifying group stages, but made a small mistake into Turn 1 during his Super Pole lap, dropping the Briton down the order.

Jérôme d’Ambrosio qualified in fifth position, suffering a major lock-up into Turn 1 on his Super Pole lap after being second fastest in regular qualifying.

For Lynn, competing in Formula E this weekend was exciting but taking pole position on debut was almost unexpected. The DS Virgin driver knows that his main role for the team in New York is to secure points for the Teams’ Championship battle.

“Just to be here and racing in New York is so great and to be on pole position for my first race is a little bit unbelievable,” he said. “We’ll try to have a good race this afternoon and score as many points as we can.”

Nick Heidfeld just missed out on reaching Super Pole and will start from sixth in his Mahindra, ahead of the NextEV NIO pair of Nelson Piquet Jr and Oliver Turvey.

Nicolas Prost could only manage ninth position in the leading Renault e.Dams – importantly though, he is ahead of the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport car of Lucas di Grassi, who will start in tenth place following a yellow flag being waved during his fast lap. As di Grassi looks to close the gap to the absent Sébastien Buemi, starting behind Buemi’s teammate could pose a significant challenge for the Brazilian.

The yellow flag that interrupted di Grassi’s run was caused by the Venturi of Maro Engel, which stopped on circuit. Having only banked a 1:17.571 lap before the technical issue, Engel will start from 20th and last place on the grid.

After showing strong pace in practice, Felix Rosenqvist made a mistake during his qualifying run to end the session in 18th, while the other new driver in the field – Buemi’s replacement Pierre Gasly – could not match Lynn’s debut performance and will start in 19th position.

2016-17 Formula E New York ePrix – Race 1 ‘Super Pole’ Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap*
1. Alex Lynn DS Virgin Racing 1:03.296
2. Daniel Abt ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:03.534 + 0.238
3. Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah 1:03.537 + 0.241
4. Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing 1:03.557 + 0.261
5. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:07.203 + 3.907
2016-17 Formula E New York ePrix – Race 1 Preliminary Qualifying Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap*
6. Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing 1:03.193 + 0.387
7. Nelson Piquet Jr NextEV NIO Formula E Team 1:03.361 + 0.555
8. Oliver Turvey NextEV NIO Formula E Team 1:03.385 + 0.579
9. Nicolas Prost Renault e.Dams 1:03.433 + 0.627
10. Lucas di Grassi ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:03.480 + 0.674
11. Stéphane Sarrazin Techeetah 1:03.508 + 0.702
12. Loïc Duval Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:03.521 + 0.715
13. Adam Carroll Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:03.555 + 0.749
14. Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:03.637 + 0.831
15. Tom Dillmann Venturi Formula E Team 1:03.795 + 0.989
16. Robin Frijns MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team 1:03.830 + 1.024
17. Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing 1:04.300 + 1.494
18. António Félix da Costa MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team 1:04.585 + 1.779
19. Pierre Gasly Renault e.Dams 1:04.936 + 2.130
NQ. Maro Engel Venturi Formula E Team 1:17.571 + 14.765

* Denotes gap to fastest Q1 qualifying lap time of 1:02.806 posted by Sam Bird.

^ Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • None

Image via FIA Formula E Championship

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Mitch Timms

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Professional motorsport engineer and all-round tech head.