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.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.