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London E-Prix: Cassidy takes final pole of 2023 season as Envision takes points lead

Nick Cassidy beat Mitch Evans to pole for the second London E-Prix this weekend by the slimmest of margins as he handed Envision Racing the lead in the teams’ championship.

Nick Cassidy, Envision Racing

Photo by: Andreas Beil

In a repeat of the qualifying final duel from Saturday, the two Kiwis went head-to-head with Evans less than a tenth faster than Cassidy in the opening sector at the ExCeL London’s indoor/outdoor circuit.

Cassidy regained that deficit in the middle sector with the duo setting almost identical times in the final segment – Cassidy’s 1m10.092s just 0.010s faster than yesterday’s race winner Evans at the line.

Crucially, the pole for Cassidy hands him three points which is vital for Envision in the teams’ championship battle, as they entered the season-finale tied on points with Jaguar.

A scruffy lap from Norman Nato ensured Evans once again booked a place in the final duel, the Kiwi posting a 1m10.008s which was the fastest lap across qualifying – which was threatened by rain throughout – and more than half a second faster than the Nissan driver.

Newly crowned Formula E champion Jake Dennis was only fractionally slower than Cassidy across all three sectors in their semi-final duel, but it meant he finished the lap 0.181s slower than his rival and will start fourth on the grid.

Evans set the fastest time during the quarter-final duels, a 1m10.137s more than two tenths faster than DS Penske’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

Jake Dennis, Andretti Autosport, Porsche 99 X Electric Gen3

Jake Dennis, Andretti Autosport, Porsche 99 X Electric Gen3

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Cassidy bested the second Jaguar of Sam Bird by nearly three tenths in their quarter-final bout, with Nato beating Abt Cupra’s Nico Muller by a similar margin at the same stage.

Despite being nearly two tenths down in the opening sector, a mighty final two-thirds of the lap by Dennis meant he beat Envision’s Sebastien Buemi by just 0.018s in their quarter-final duel.

Cassidy had headed the opening qualifying group with a 1m10.521s, as a final effort for Dennis moved him into second with Buemi and Bird completing the top four – all of whom were covered by less than two tenths.

NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum was the closest driver to miss out on the duels, ahead of DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne and McLaren’s Rene Rast.

Evans topped the second group, finishing 0.273s clear of Muller as Nato and Vandoorne secured the remaining duel spots.

Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein missed out by only 0.049s ahead of Edoardo Mortara, the Maserati driver clipping the wall at Turn 17 on his final effort.

The second Porsche of Antonio Felix da Costa finished 10th in the same session, putting the German manufacturer on the backfoot in its quest for the teams’ title.

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