Formula E: Vergne scores Miami pole for the home team, Andretti FE


MIAMI – Jean-Eric Vergne has scored his second pole position in three attempts (Round 3, Uruguay, was his first) in the FIA Formula E Championship, courtesy of the first sub-1:06 lap of the day in qualifying for the Miami ePrix.

The Frenchman laid down a flier of 1:05.953 in the third of four qualifying groups to secure the top spot in the No. 27 Andretti FE Spark-Renault SRT_01 E.

Andretti Sports Marketing is promoting today’s race, the first for the all-electric open-wheel championship in the U.S. Andretti FE is one of two U.S. teams racing on home soil, along with Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing.

Vergne edged Nelson Piquet Jr. of China Racing, who was also in the third group. Piquet came up just shy at 0.050 of a second back, in the No. 99 car.

Nicolas Prost had held the top spot through the opening two groups. The driver of the No. 8 e.dams entry posted a 1:06.167 in the first group session, as he sought his third pole position in five races (Round 1 at China, Round 2 in Malaysia, although there he had a 10-spot grid penalty following his collision with Nick Heidfeld in China).

Sam Bird, who led free practice in the No. 2 Virgin Racing entry, was fourth with Daniel Abt fifth in the No. 66 Audi Sport ABT car.

Points leader Lucas di Grassi, Abt’s teammate in the No. 11 car, will roll off seventh, one spot behind Stephane Sarrazin in sixth (No. 30 Venturi). He was third of five in the second group, behind Bird and Abt.

Di Grassi entered the weekend with a 10-point lead over Bird (58-48), with the e.dams pair of Prost and Sebastien Buemi lurking.

Jerome d’Ambrosio (No. 7 Dragon Racing), Jaime Alguersuari (No. 3 Virgin Racing) and Nick Heidfeld (No. 23 Venturi) completed the top-10.

Vergne’s teammate, Scott Speed, qualified 11th for his FIA Formula E debut in the No. 28 Andretti Autosport entry. Vitantonio Liuzzi (No. 18 Trulli) was 12th with Salvador Duran (No. 77 Amlin Aguri) 13th, and the last driver within one second at 0.935 back of Vergne.

Buemi and Jarno Trulli were 14th and 15th, with Karun Chandhok, Bruno Senna, Antonio Felix da Costa, Charles Pic and Loic Duval completing the balance of the 20-car grid.

Today’s 39-lap race goes green at 4:05 p.m. ET and local time. The grid opens at 3:30 p.m.

Results are linked here.