Formula E

Abt takes second FE pole in Mexico as Buemi, di Grassi struggle

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Daniel Abt swept to his second pole position in Formula E after edging out Oliver Turvey in the final Super Pole shootout ahead of the Mexico City ePrix on Saturday.

After spending much of his time in Formula E in the shadow of title-fighting teammate Lucas di Grassi, Abt led the ABT Scheaffler Audi Sport team to its second straight pole at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as a number of title favorites struggled.

Following his red-eye flight from the WEC Prologue at Monza, Sebastien Buemi struggled in qualifying thanks to a dirty track that caused the early runners to lose grip. Buemi qualified 10th, leaving him with a fight on his hands to battle through to his fourth straight win.

Di Grassi was another to lose out in Q1, falling to a lowly 18th, leaving teammate Abt to take the limelight as he made the most of a cleaner track in Q2 to get through to Super Pole.

After seeing NextEV NIO’s Turvey go faster in the initial heats, Abt managed to put together a rapid lap of 1:02.711 to take provisional pole. Turvey did all he could, but was powerless to stop Abt from taking pole, falling 0.156 seconds short to finish second.

Jose Maria Lopez put in an impressive display for DS Virgin Racing to qualify third, matching his best effort from Hong Kong, while Venturi’s Maro Engel finished fourth. He will drop 10 places on the grid due to a penalty. Jean-Eric Vergne rounded out the top five for Techeetah.

The Mexico City ePrix kicks off at 5pm ET on Saturday.

Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.