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Lucas di Grassi takes maiden Formula E pole in Buenos Aires

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Lucas di Grassi raced to his maiden Formula E pole position in Buenos Aires on Saturday, edging out rivals Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastien Buemi in the final shootout at Puerto Madero.

Di Grassi has been a regular race winner and title contender throughout Formula E’s short history, but had never started a race from pole prior to Saturday’s success in Buenos Aires.

The ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver was third-fastest in the initial group stage of qualifying, with Vergne and Buemi filling out the top two positions.

Di Grassi was the only driver to put in an error-free lap in Super Pole, though, giving him a buffer of 0.194 seconds over Vergne come the end of the session to take his first pole in Formula E.

Vergne will start second for Techeetah in Buenos Aires ahead of Buemi, who made an error through the first sector. NextEV NIO teammates Oliver Turvey and Nelson Piquet Jr. also had scrappy laps, leaving them P4 and P5.

Jaguar enjoyed its strongest Formula E qualifying performance to date as Mitch Evans ended the session seventh, having sat inside the Super Pole positions until the final moments of Q4.

Renault e.dams’ Nico Prost was another to narrowly miss out, finishing up sixth. Marrakesh pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist was eighth for Mahindra, while Jerome d’Ambrosio and 2016 Buenos Aires winner Sam Bird rounded out the top 10.

Andretti had a qualifying to forget as Robin Frijns languished in 13th place, while teammate Antonio Felix da Costa suffered a stoppage and then damaged his car on a curb, leaving him 17th overall.

Home favorite Jose Maria Lopez came close to delighting the local fans in Buenos Aires, setting the fastest first sector in qualifying, only to hit the wall later in his lap, resigning the Argentine to P18 on the grid.

Dakar Rally video highlights from the concluding Stage 14

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The 40th Dakar Rally is now history.

Nearly 550 competitors began the early 5,600-mile long race 15 days ago and concluded Saturday.

As we’ve done throughout the Rally, here are some key video highlights from NBCSN’s coverage of the Rally:

TRUCKS

CARS

QUADS

 

MOTORCYCLES