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Cassidy Fastest in Qualifying but Penalised: Da Costa On Pole in New York

Nick Cassidy had made it two from two in qualifying for the New York E-Prix, but a penalty for a change of components will see him starting last.

The Envision driver had secured pole position ahead of Antonio Felix Da Costa for the second race of the weekend.

However, a post-qualifying stewards report confirmed that the Kiwi needed a new battery pack and RESS radiator after his crash in yesterday’s race.

This meant a 30-place grid penalty for Cassidy although he will also have to serve a drive-through penalty in lieu of not being able to take the whole grid drop.

No rain disrupted running this time, but the order in both qualifying sessions was much more mixed up.

Cassidy was second quickest from Group A, 0.042s behind Sergio Sette Camara who topped the order.

Championship leader Edoardo Mortara failed to set a lap. He slowed down on his first flying lap and limped into the pits. But title rival Jean-Eric Vergne couldn’t take advantage of Mortara’s misfortune. He clipped the wall on his final lap, as did Sam Bird, while Robin Frijns was forced to slow to avoid Vergne.

Nyck de Vries and Alexander Sims would also make it through to the duel stages from Group A.

In Group B, Lucas Di Grassi topped the order, but did not adhere to the minimum pit in-pit out time and had his lap times deleted, dropping him to P10 in the group.

Both Mitch Evans and Stoffel Vandoorne made it through to the duel stages, along with Da Costa and Andre Lotterer, who was promoted up to P4 following Di Grassi’s penalty.

Vandoorne wouldn’t make it past the quarter-finals. He went head-to-head with Cassidy and, despite Cassidy making a mistake at turns 12 and 13, finished a tenth of a second behind yesterday’s race winner.

Cassidy then went up against Lotterer, who made a mistake on his flying lap to finish more than 1.5s behind Cassidy.

Da Costa’s route to the final started with a head-to-head against de Vries, who he beat by just 0.159s. He then went up against Sims, beating the Mahindra driver by the even finer margin of 0.149s.

Cassidy and Da Costa were evenly matched on their final runs, but Cassidy would eventually come out on top with a time of 1,08.584s, 0.167s quicker than Da Costa.

Sims lines up third on the grid ahead of Lotterer and Sette Camara, who was the quickest of those out in the quarter-finals.

Vandoorne, Evans, de Vries and Oliver Askew complete the top eight.

The top ten was rounded out by Askew’s team-mate  Jake Dennis, and Frijns.

Bethonie Waring

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