Sam Bird has continued his strong form after winning Saturday’s inaugural New York City ePrix, scoring pole position for the Sunday race.

Bird’s time of 1:02.285 eclipsed Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist by 0.037s, while the runner-up to Bird in Saturday’s race, Jean-Éric Vergne will start from third.

Having been drawn in the first qualifying group – generally seen as a disadvantage, with the track getting faster for each successive group of cars – Bird set a lap just fast enough to scrape into Super Pole. The star of the group stages was Renault e.Dams substitute driver Pierre Gasly, setting the fastest time to reach Super Pole in only his second Formula E qualifying session.

Gasly’s Super Pole lap was blighted by a large lock up, relegating the rookie to fourth, while Nick Heidfeld in the second Mahindra will start from fifth after a lap that could only be described as messy.

Maro Engel was the first driver left on the outside looking in to Super Pole in sixth place, ahead of NextEV NIO’s Oliver Turvey and the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport car of Daniel Abt.

Lucas di Grassi, who is aiming to close what is now a 20-point deficit to absent championship leader Sébastien Buemi will start from ninth place after brushing the wall during his fast lap.

Yesterday saw di Grassi recover 12 points by moving from tenth on the grid to fourth at the chequered flag, and will need a similar storming drive to make further inroads into Buemi’s lead. With the three bonus points for pole position having gone to Bird, only a race victory on Sunday will see di Grassi leave New York at the top of the drivers standings.

Tom Dillmann rounds out the top ten, while Robin Frijns qualified eleventh place. The Andretti driver will start at the back of the field though, as a crash in the morning practice session required a gearbox change as part of the repair – and with the change comes a 10 place grid penalty.

2016-17 Formula E New York ePrix – Race 2 ‘Super Pole’ Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap*
1. Sam Bird DS Virgin Racing 1:02.285
2. Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing 1:02.322 + 0.037
3. Jean-Éric Vergne Techeetah 1:02.544 + 0.259
4. Pierre Gasly Renault e.Dams 1:03.173 + 0.888
5. Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Racing 1:03.210 + 0.925
2016-17 Formula E New York ePrix – Race 2 Preliminary Qualifying Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap*
6. Maro Engel Venturi Formula E Team 1:02.579 + 0.499
7. Oliver Turvey NextEV NIO Formula E Team 1:02.583 + 0.503
8. Daniel Abt ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:02.688 + 0.608
9. Lucas di Grassi ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport 1:02.720 + 0.640
10. Tom Dillmann Venturi Formula E Team 1:02.807 + 0.727
11. Robin Frijns* MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team 1:02.820 + 0.740
12. Stéphane Sarrazin Techeetah 1:02.853 + 0.773
13. Mitch Evans Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:02.868 + 0.788
14. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:02.900 + 0.820
15. Nicolas Prost Renault e.Dams 1:03.038 + 0.958
16. Nelson Piquet Jr NextEV NIO Formula E Team 1:03.184 + 1.104
17. Alex Lynn DS Virgin Racing 1:03.224 + 1.144
18. António Félix da Costa MS Amlin Andretti Formula E Team 1:03.330 + 1.250
19. Loïc Duval Faraday Future Dragon Racing 1:03.547 + 1.467
20. Adam Carroll Panasonic Jaguar Racing 1:03.594 + 1.514

* Denotes gap to fastest Q1 qualifying lap time of 1:02.080 posted by Pierre Gasly.

^ Post-Qualifying Penalties:

  • Robin Frijns – who provisionally qualified 11th-fastest – will incur a 10-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Bird had earlier set the fastest time in the day’s solitary practice session, his 1:02.209 lap time over half a second faster than the best lap on Saturday. Vergne set the second fastest time, 0.179 behind the Briton, with Engel, Turvey and Neilson Piquet Jr.

Tom Dillmann tagged the wall early in the session but recovered to set the sixth fastest lap, while the session ended a few minutes early to allow for the clean up of Frijns’ crashed Andretti. The Dutchman hit the wall heavily with the right-hand rear of the car, damaging the rear wing, suspension and gearbox.

Image via LAT Images

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Mitch Timms

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