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Hughes claims first Formula E Pole for McLaren

Rookie Jake Hughes has taken his first Formula E Pole Position for McLaren in a close qualifying session ahead of the second Diriyah E-Prix race of the weekend.

Jake Hughes claimed his and McLaren's first Formula E Pole Position ahead of Jaguar's Mitch Evans in a close qualifying finale ahead of the second Diriyah race. With just a few thousandths of a second separating the two drivers in the final couple of corners, Hughes kept his cool to secure Pole in just his third event. Rene Rast completed another fine qualifying day for McLaren by lining up on the second row, a further improvement on the team's qualifying result from race one. Yesterday's Pole Position winner Sebastien Buemi was powerless to prevent Hughes from progressing in the semi-final, with the Swiss driver qualifying in P4. Diriyah E-Prix race one winner Pascal Wehrlein was unable to put his Porsche in the top four after being beaten by Rast, but his strong race pace this season means he is likely to be able to build from P5. Such was the qualifying strength of Hughes, the challenge posed by Andretti's championship leader Jake Dennis was half-a-second off the pace. Edoardo Mortara made a remarkable recovery for the Maserati team, who endured a difficult qualifying for race one, with the Swiss driving taking P7 and aiming to take the team's first points of the season. Stoffel Vandoorne fell to a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Buemi, although DS Penske will be comforted by achieving their first qualifying duels appearance of the year.

Following his remarkable return to the front of the grid in the first Diriyah race, Jaguar's Sam Bird was a surprise elimination in Group A, and will have to fight through the field from P9 to challenge for consecutive podiums in Saudi Arabia. Another impressive qualifier from yesterday, NIO's Dan Ticktum, was also out in the first part of qualifying and will line up in P11. The second DS Penske driver of Jean-Eric Vergne was unable to replicate Vandoorne's performance in grouped qualifying and will start on the eighth row of the grid in P16, ahead of Formula E big-hitters Antonio Felix da Costa and Andre Lotterer. Mexico City E-Prix pole winner Lucas di Grassi endured a poor session, finishing towards the back of Group B to qualify towards the back of the grid in P20.

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