Piquet extends championship lead with Moscow ePrix win

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Nelson Piquet Jr has extended his lead at the top of the FIA Formula E drivers’ championship by claiming a  dominant win in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.

The NextEV TCR driver seized the lead from pole-sitter Jean-Eric Vergne off the line, slipping down the inside into the first corner before pulling away into a lead that he would only lose through the pit stops.

Title rival Lucas di Grassi lost time to Piquet through the first stint of the race as he ran stuck behind Vergne in third place, but managed to pass the Frenchman with a quicker pit stop.

Di Grassi emerged from the pits some 4.7 seconds down on Piquet, and although he was able to close up on his compatriot, the Audi Sport ABT driver was unable to pass and eventually finished two seconds down in second place.

“It’s hard to express our feelings in these moments,” Piquet said after the race. “I knew coming back to the track like this would be our edge. I like places like this.

“We didd what we were supposed to do over here, we did our homework. Let’s go to London now.”

Despite leading the race for third place in the final stint, Jean-Eric Vergne lost two positions on the final lap after a rather odd incident. Sebastien Buemi made contact with the Andretti driver twice when trying to pass and cut the chicane, but Vergne did not re-take the position when Buemi slowed.

This prompted the e.dams driver to hold on to the position and also allowed Nick Heidfeld to find his way past Vergne for fourth place, leaving the Frenchman down in fifth at the flag.

Daniel Abt finished sixth to mark a good double score for the Audi Sport ABT team, whilst the Amlin Aguri duo of Salvador Duran and Antonio Felix da Costa finished seventh and eighth respectively. Nicolas Prost crossed the line in ninth for e.dams, with Justin Wilson finishing tenth on his Formula E debut for Andretti.

Piquet enters the final double-header in London with a 12 point lead over Buemi at the top of the standings, and with di Grassi also looming, we are set for a fascinating three-way fight at the final round of the inaugural Formula E season.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III