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Da Costa puts Aguri's season one car on Long Beach Formula E pole

Antonio Felix da Costa beat Sam Bird and Lucas di Grassi to claim a sensational maiden Formula E pole position for the Long Beach ePrix

The Portuguese driver has starred this season with the season-one technology in his Team Aguri-run car, but myriad reliability issues have limited his results.

Da Costa was one of three drivers in the final qualifying group to bump conservative championship leader Sebastien Buemi from the superpole.

He then starred in the shootout, setting a 57.198-second lap to edge out Bird and di Grassi by less than a tenth of a second.

"We've had a lot of pace and lost two podiums already but the team has been strong together and this is proof of that," said da Costa, who believes Aguri's race pace is stronger than its one-lap offering.

"It means nothing at the moment. We need to win the race."

NEWS UPDATE: Da Costa excluded, Bird inherits pole

Bird topped the group stage but admitted to a mistake at Turn 1 as he fell 0.063s short of pole on his superpole effort, though he was 0.09s faster than di Grassi.

Stephane Sarrazin will start fourth for Venturi after a strong run in the group phase, while Nick Heidfeld looked like he might mount a surprise pole challenge himself when he outpaced di Grassi in the first sector.

But Heidfeld lost time in sector two and made a slight error at the final corner to fall back, though fifth still marks Mahindra's best qualifying since the German's third-place start in Beijing.

First of the non-superpole runners was Robin Frijns, another continuing to excel with season-one technology.

The Dutchman was also knocked out of the shootout thanks to the final group and the Andretti Autosport man rued a slight mistake that cost him time.

Such a scenario proved crucial in deciding who made it out of the group phase, because of how incredibly close the laptimes were.

Practice pacesetter Daniel Abt and Buemi will share row four but both were only a tenth slower than the time da Costa had set to go second-quickest in the group phase.

Buemi at least outqualified team-mate Nicolas Prost, while Mexico City ePrix race winner Jerome d'Ambrosio starts 10th as the Dragon Racing squad continued to struggle slightly.

Loic Duval will start last in the second Venturi-powered Dragon car having hit the wall during his full-power lap in the group stage.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Sam Bird Virgin Virgin 57.261s -
2 Lucas di Grassi Abt ABT Schaeffler 57.270s 0.009s
3 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Venturi 57.412s 0.151s
4 Nick Heidfeld Mahindra Mahindra 57.825s 0.564s
5 Robin Frijns Andretti Spark 57.145s -0.116
6 Daniel Abt Abt ABT Schaeffler 57.151s -
7 Sebastien Buemi e.dams Renault 57.189s -
8 Nicolas Prost e.dams Renault 57.284s -
9 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Venturi 57.288s -
10 Bruno Senna Mahindra Mahindra 57.383s -
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Virgin Virgin 57.496s -
12 Simona de Silvestro Andretti Spark 57.696s -
13 Oliver Turvey China NEXTEV TCR 57.952s -
14 Mike Conway Venturi Venturi 58.144s -
15 Salvador Duran Aguri Spark 58.417s -
16 Loic Duval Dragon Venturi 59.049s -
17 Nelson Piquet Jr. China NEXTEV TCR 58.015s -
18 Antonio Felix da Costa Aguri Spark - -


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Previous article Daniel Abt and Sebastien Buemi lead Long Beach Formula E practice
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