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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.

NBCSN will present ‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ Monday

NBCSN
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With motor racing reckoning with its own issues of diversity and equality, “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” will tackle the topics of social justice with several athletes. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 13 on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic channel and on regional sports networks.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by Damon Hack and feature Charles Barkley, Steph Curry, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith in one segment. The other segment will include Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins and James Blake.

Race has been a major topic in motorsports this year.

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at its race after lobbying by Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the premier Cup Series. In Formula One, six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton has joined Black Lives Matter marches in London and also formed a panel on diversity. The lone Black driver in F1 also led 14 of 20 drivers taking a knee before the season opener in Austria.