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Jerome d’Ambrosio takes Mexico City ePrix pole for Dragon

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Jerome d’Ambrosio will start Saturday’s Mexico City ePrix from pole position after producing a stunning final lap in qualifying at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

D’Ambrosio claimed his first Formula E pole in Punta del Este two races ago, and his second came in similar circumstances as he perfected an ‘all or nothing’ lap to leave his rivals without answer.

After finishing fourth in the main qualifying standings, d’Ambrosio posted a time of 1:03.705 in the Super Pole session to take provisional pole from Daniel Abt.

Neither Lucas di Grassi nor Nicolas Prost could beat d’Ambrosio’s time despite having quicker cars, leaving championship leader Sebastien Buemi as the only driver who could deny the Belgian pole.

Buemi went faster in the first sector, only to make an error for the third qualifying session in a row that meant he could only finish fifth, handing pole to d’Ambrosio.

“I think it’s unexpected in the sense that we knew we were going to try for the top five – it’s the same thing as Punta,” d’Ambrosio said.

“I went to Jay [Penske] and said ‘I think we’re going to be P4 and P5 because the ultimate speed is around there, but you’re OK if I go full on and take all the risks?’.

“He said ‘do what you’ve got to do, but keep it in one piece’. I said I’d try! I went for it, and it worked out. Now there’s a race to do, but it’s another couple of points. I’m happy for everyone in the team.”

Jean-Eric Vergne narrowly missed out on a place in the Super Pole shootout, finishing sixth ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa and Loic Duval. Nick Heidfeld and Stephane Sarrazin rounded out the top 10.

Defending champion Nelson Piquet Jr. saw his ailing title defence take another hit as he crashed heavily at the first corner on his fast lap, breaking the TecPro barrier in two. Thankfully, he walked away unaided from the shunt, although the same could not be said of his car, leaving the NEXTEV TCR team with a big repair job ahead of the race.

The Mexico City ePrix begins at 5pm ET on Saturday.

Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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