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Rome E-Prix: Dennis takes pole against title rival Cassidy

Jake Dennis beat championship rival Nick Cassidy to pole for this weekend’s second Rome E-Prix after no further action was taken following an investigation by the stewards for impeding.

Jake Dennis, Andretti Autosport, Porsche 99 X Electric Gen3, Sergio Sette Camara, NIO 333 FE Team, NIO 333 ER9

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

The Andretti Autosport driver had built up a margin of three-tenths over the opening two sectors in the final duel and posted a 1m37.986s. 

Cassidy, who finished second in Saturday’s opening Rome E-Prix but took the championship lead from Dennis as a result, put in an impressive final sector to slash the margin but fell 0.071s short at the line.

Dennis also receives three points for his pole position, which moves him to within two points of Envision Racing's Cassidy in the standings, with the result initially provisional as the Briton was under investigation for an impeding incident in his qualifying group.

The stewards deemed that McLaren’s Rene Rast was not blocked in the incident, though, meaning Dennis will start this afternoon’s race from pole. 

Mitch Evans, the victor in Saturday’s Rome E-Prix which propelled him into title contention, was finally beaten this weekend as championship rival Cassidy got the better of his fellow Kiwi despite a sketchy moment through Turn 7 as both set scrappy semi-final laps. 

Just over a tenth separated Dennis and Nissan’s Norman Nato in the second semi-final duel as the Briton’s lap, a 1m38.087s, was just 0.031s slower than Cassidy’s time in the same element of qualifying. 

Two strong final sectors ensured Dennis of a semi-final spot after finishing nearly half a second ahead of Maximilian Gunther.

The Maserati driver was also initially under investigation after the session for not slowing down through a yellow flag zone in his qualifying group before the stewards took no further action.  

The fastest time through all three sectors meant Cassidy comfortably beat NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum in the opening quarter-final duel by more than a second with a 1m37.536s. 

Nick Cassidy, Envision Racing

Nick Cassidy, Envision Racing

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Nato progressed through his quarter-final duel against Sebastien Buemi after the Envision driver made light head-on contact with the barrier at Turn 7 having been fractionally quicker in the opening sector. 

In a repeat of the final duel on Saturday, Evans bested Jaguar team-mate Sam Bird but only after the Briton backed off in the final sector. 

The pair had been almost identical on times through the opening two sectors but Bird, who triggered the multi-car crash in Saturday’s race and was in a newly rebuilt car, backed off before the line to aid Evans’ championship charge. 

Dennis set two laps good enough to finish fastest in the second qualifying group, his final effort leaving him on a 1m38.214s and 0.257s clear of Buemi, as Nato and Gunther completed the top four. 

McLaren’s Jake Hughes, who had to sit out Saturday’s race due to a heavy crash in qualifying, went into the run-off area at Turn 7 on his final run which meant he finished sixth, just ahead of team-mate Rene Rast. 

Both finished immediately in front of Pascal Wehrlein, the Porsche driver set to start further down the grid compared with his title rivals after a difficult weekend so far for the German. 

Bird put in a strong final lap in the opening qualifying group to head the times with a 1m38.434s, 0.113s clear of Cassidy who had topped the group after the opening runs. 

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Ticktum finished third from Evans, with the top four covered by less than three-tenths. 

Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa missed out in fifth, more than half a second behind Bird’s best lap, ahead of fellow Formula E champions Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske) and Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra). 

Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz, who had topped his qualifying group on Saturday and led for a period of the race, failed to make it out due to a battery change.

Rome E-Prix qualifying results

Cla Driver Team Time Gap km/h
1 United Kingdom Jake Dennis United States Andretti Autosport 1'37.986   124.181
2 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Envision Racing 1'38.057 0.071 124.091
3 France Norman Nato Japan Nissan e.Dams 1'38.203 0.217 123.906
4 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'38.322 0.336 123.756
5 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 1'38.445 0.459 123.602
6 Germany Maximilian Gunther Monaco Maserati Racing 1'38.655 0.669 123.338
7 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'38.720 0.734 123.257
8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi United Kingdom Envision Racing 1'51.464 13.478 109.165
9 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Maserati Racing 1'38.598 0.612 123.410
10 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa Germany Porsche Team 1'38.976 0.990 122.938
11 United Kingdom Jake Hughes United Kingdom McLaren 1'38.677 0.691 123.311
12 France Jean-Eric Vergne United States DS Penske 1'39.128 1.142 122.750
13 Germany René Rast United Kingdom McLaren 1'38.825 0.839 123.126
14 Brazil Lucas di Grassi India Mahindra Racing 1'39.318 1.332 122.515
15 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 1'38.842 0.856 123.105
16 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 1'39.365 1.379 122.457
17 Germany Andre Lotterer United States Andretti Autosport 1'38.932 0.946 122.993
18 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne United States DS Penske 1'39.366 1.380 122.456
19 Switzerland Nico Müller Germany Team Abt 1'39.125 1.139 122.754
20 Netherlands Robin Frijns Germany Team Abt 1'39.536 1.550 122.247
21 Spain Roberto Merhi India Mahindra Racing 1'40.289 2.303 121.329
22 France Sacha Fenestraz Japan Nissan e.Dams      

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