Jake Dennis beats title rival Nick Cassidy in qualifying for the second Rome E-Prix.
The two were separated by just 0.071s in the final duel, but it was the Andretti driver who just had the edge.
The pair start just ahead of championship contender Mitch Evans, who qualified fourth, while Pascal Wehrlein couldn’t make it through to the duels.
Qualifying was a much cleaner affair in the second day of action at Rome.
Nick Cassidy topped the order early on in Group A and improved his fastest lap time to 1m38.547s. It would stand until the final moment of the session when Sam Bird jumped up to P1, just over a tenth of a second quicker.
Lucas Di Grassi briefly jumped into a position to progress to the duels, but was knocked down to seventh as others found improvements. Instead, it was Dan Ticktum who was the surprise driver to progress to the duels, having qualified third ahead of Mitch Evans.
Antonio Felix Da Costa missed out by just 0.275s.
It was Jake Dennis who went quickest early on in Group B. His best time wouldn’t be beaten and he ended the group stages with a time of 1m38.214s.
Buemi made it two Envision cars in the top eighth when he qualified second, ahead of Norman Nato and Maximilian Guenther.
However, Guenther ends qualifying under investigation. Jake Hughes ran up the escape road at turn seven on his second flying lap, and couldn’t get going again before Guenther went past. Guenther improved on his lap, but it’s not known if he improved in that specific sector or mini sector.
The decision was made not to investigate before the duels, which potentially denied team-mate Edoardo Mortara a place in the top eight, as the second Maserati driver qualified fifth in session.
Pascal Wehrlein could only manage eighth fastest in the session, 0.628s off Dennis’ time, and he starts 15th on the grid.
Dennis went head to head with Guenther in the quarterfinals, beating the Maserati driver by roughly 0.5s. He then faced Norman Nato, who was 0.2s off Dennis’ pace.
Meanwhile, Cassidy faced Dan Ticktum and set the quickest lap of the session with a 1m37.536s lap. He then beat Mitch Evans to make it through to the finals.
Dennis and Cassidy’s semifinal times were separated by less than a tenth of a second, with Cassidy just ahead. Cassidy would match his semifinal time to 0.001s in the finals, but Dennis managed to find a few tenths of a second to come out on top.
Norman Nato qualified third ahead of Mitch Evans, who had faced his own team-mate in the quarterfinals. Sam Bird backed off in the final sector to allow his team-mate through, but still qualified fifth ahead of Guenther, Ticktum and Buemi, who put the nose of his Envision into the wall at turn seven in the quarter finals.
Outside the top eight, Mortara lines up ninth, with Da Costa completing the top 10.