Formula E: Jarno Trulli claims pole for Berlin ePrix

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Jarno Trulli sprung a surprise on Saturday afternoon to claim his first FIA Formula E pole position in qualifying for the Berlin ePrix at the disused Berlin Tempelhof airport.

Despite qualifying in the first group of cars and having the disadvantage of a green track, Trulli posted a fastest lap time of 1:21.547 to edge out championship leader Lucas di Grassi and Monaco race winner Sebastien Buemi at the front of the field.

Racing for his eponymous team, Trull has endured a difficult start to life in Formula E with just one top ten finish in the opening seven races of the championship’s inaugural season.

However, the Italian driver rallied in Berlin to clinch his team’s first pole position with a fine display.

“Yeah I’m really pleased,” Trulli said. “I have to thank my team and supporters. We’ve been struggling quite a lot recently to find the right pace and the right setup on the car. It’s been a very hard weekend for the team.

“We have made some steps and some progress, but we were a little bit surprised not to be competitive in Monaco. Finally here we’ve found the right pace. The right adjustment on the car made the difference. We still have some work to do but we are getting there step by step.”

Di Grassi did appear to be in the running for pole position during his group three run, but fell less than one-tenth of a second short and will start the race from second place on the grid. Buemi managed to set the pace in group four, but did not improve on his final lap, leaving him third overall ahead of Nick Heidfeld.

Championship contender Nelson Piquet Jr struggled in qualifying, falling down to P13 by the end of the session behind American driver Scott Speed in 12th place.

This result marks Trulli’s first pole position in motor racing since the 2009 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, when he started from first place for Toyota.

However, the pressure will be on his shoulders to bring the car home and convert it into a first podium finish – or better still, a race win – for the team in Formula E.

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

Indy Lights
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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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