Just Electric

Da Costa takes pole as Evans fails to qualify

Antonio Felix Da Costa claimed his first pole for DS Techeetah in qualifying for the Marrakesh E-Prix.

While team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne failed to qualify inside the top 10, Da Costa put himself fourth in the order during the group stages, despite running in the first group.

The Marrakesh circuit doesn’t usually put the first group at too much of a disadvantage, unlike other tracks, but the overcast weather and wind meant the track was dusty for the first qualifying group.

Despite the difficulties, Da Costa managed to set a time of 1m17.640s, just 0.078s slower than Maximilian Gunther, who was fastest in the group stages.

Da Costa improved on his Super Pole lap, setting the quickest lap time of the day with a 1mm17.158s, putting him almost half a second clear of the then next fastest driver, Nyck de Vries.

Andre Lotterer closed the gap, narrowly missing out on a front row start when he finished 0.095s, but it was Gunther who came closest to taking pole. The BMW driver was 0.15s quicker than Da Costa after the middle sector, but a lock up lost him time in sector three and he ended the session just 0.069s behind the Techeetah.

Nyck de Vries will start fourth, ahead of Edoardo Mortara and Sebastien Buemi.

There was drama in the opening group when championship leader Mitch Evans failed to set a lap time. The Jaguar driver was the last to leave the pits and, though he seemed to be on track to start his flying lap before the chequered flag fell, a slow middle sector meant he crossed the timing line fractions of a second after the session ended.

He continued on his fast lap, managing a time that would have put him at the sharp end of the field, but it did not qualify and he will start from the back of the grid.

Throughout the rest of the session, most teams opted against running the risky one lap run, heading out earlier in the session to ensure enough time to start their lap.

Jaguar’s other driver, James Calado, was not one. He left the pits with more time to spare than his team-mate had, but was still later than the rest of the field. The choice appeared to pay off when he qualified 10th, his best result of the season.

Jerome D’Ambrosio narrowly missed out on a place in the Super Pole shootout, qualifying 0.019s slower than Buemi in the group stages. He lines up seventh, ahead of Alexander Sims and Oliver Rowland.

Bethonie Waring

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