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Dennis picks up pole in Valencia

Jake Dennis takes pole position on a drying Valencia circuit ahead of Andre Lotterer and Alex Lynn.

Track evolution was so rapid late in the session that only a significant mistake from Dennis would deny him top of the order in Super Pole.

The rain had stopped before the start of qualifying, but the track was still damp. Those out in the first qualifying group were significantly off the pace achieved at the end of the session, and all six of the drivers in Super Pole were in the final group.

Of the six, it was Jake Dennis who topped the order, managing a 1m31.855s lap. The time was two seconds quicker than the fastest time set in group one.

Topping group qualifying meant the BMW driver, who scored his first points in the series yesterday, would be out last in Super Pole.

Norman Nato, who was out first in the session, told his engineer track evolution was so fast there would be no way he would remain on provisional pole, which proved to be true. Each time in the session was quicker than the one before it.

Dennis’ pole position time was 0.863s quicker than Lotterer, who in turn was 0.3s faster than Lynn. This would be BMW’s first pole position since the 2020 Diriyah E-Prix.

Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Turvey both made it into Super Pole for NIO 333, and will start fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Nato.

Outside the top six, being last on track didn’t necessarily mean going fastest. Jean-Eric Vergne, out in group 2, ended the session seventh ahead of Oliver Rowland, Sebastien Buemi and Sergio Sette Camara.

A number of drivers in the third qualifying group ran into problems. Maximilian Gunther qualified sixth, only to have his lap time removed for track limits and drop to the bottom of the order. Nick Cassidy, who had set purple sectors one and two, also had his lap time removed for exceeding track limits, despite seeing no improvements when he ran wide and off track. Lucas Di Grassi also had issues and will line up P12.

Championship leader Nyck De Vries was only fifth fastest in his group and lines up P18 on the grid, just ahead of the Jaguar duo of Mitch Evans and Sam Bird.

Bethonie Waring

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