Maiden Formula E pole for Fenestraz in Cape Town
Saturday 25th February, 2023 - 11:27pm
Sasha Fenestraz has taken his first Formula E pole position in his rookie season, beating Maximillian Guenther by 0:422s with his time of 1:07:848s.
The Nissan driver was dominant throughout each qualifying session in Cape Town and Maserati MSG Racing driver Guenther couldn’t beat the 23-year-old, starting behind him in second with Cassidy rounding out the top three.
Fenestraz was the fastest in the Group A qualifying, snatching the fastest lap of the session from Cassidy and Wehrlein. His time of a 1:08:994s was only 0:145s off fourth place which Jean Eric Vergne cliched, furthering into the Duels.
“Very happy for the team, it’s been a hell of the start of a season working so much, day and night,” said Fenestraz.
“So, this is great and let’s keep it up and not make it the last of the season.
“India was good, we were fourth because of penalties and we could have scored some points if we didn’t have the contact with Jaguar.
“But we are standing on pole, so let’s keep it like this.”
Maserati MSG Racing’s Edoardo Mortara topped the timing sheets in Free Practice 1 with a 1:09:700s.
Nick Cassidy in the Envision Racing finished Free Practice 2 fastest with a 1:08:118s.
NEOM Mclaren’s Jake Hughes crashed in Group A qualifying with 7 minutes to go, tapping the wall at Turn 1.
He returned to the pitlane and set another time in the closing stages of the session but clipped the wall again and was not able to progress into the Duels, the first time he did not make it into the Duels since his start in Formula E.
A Red Flag was waved for a collision at the ending stages of Group B qualifying.
Sam Bird collided into Mortara after both drivers oversteered into Turn 9, hit the wall and crashed with each other whilst blind to the other car.
This meant the session finished early with Rene Rast who posted a 1:08:844s, Mitch Evans, Sebastian Buemi and Gunther all advancing into the Duels with only 0:206s between them.
The four cars of Mahindra Racing did not set any times in the qualifying session in Cape Town.
The breaking news of the weekend was that Mahindra withdrew all cars from the E-Prix due to an issue with their rear suspension.
Quarter Final 1 was won by Cassidy with a 1:08:446s, beating Wehrlein who could only do a 1:08:598s.
Sasha Fenestraz continued his quick pace, winning Quarter Final 2 with a 1:08:467 over Hyderabad E-Prix winner Vergne who was 0:053s slower.
Buemi locked up and hit the wall in Quarter Final 3, allowing Kiwi Evans to take the Dual win over two seconds ahead and Guenther was the final winner of the Duels, beating Rast by 0:267s.
This left Vergne, Wehrlein, Rast and Buemi to line up from fifth to eighth for the race.
Semi Finals saw Fenestraz and Guenther win to move into the Final round. Cassidy lines up third and Evans will move off from fourth to make it an all-New Zealand second row.
Fenestraz’s quick opening sector in the Final was too much for his German opponent and allowed the rookie to take his maiden pole for Round 5 of the Championship.
The Franco-Argentine will start off the front row at the Cape Town E-Prix at 01:03 AEDT on Sunday 26 February.
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