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Formula E

Rowland claims home pole for Nissan as Cassidy suffers Tokyo frustration

Oliver Rowland secured pole position for the inaugural 2024 Tokyo E-Prix.

Rowland Tokyo
Article
To news overview © Simon Galloway / Formula E

Oliver Rowland will start the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix from pole position and remains unbeaten in the duels this season.

The Briton secured pole at Nissan's home race after defeating Maximilian Günther in the final, whilst Rowland beat Edoardo Mortara in the semi-final.

Mortara secured Mahindra's first semi-final appearance of Season 10 and will start the race in third, with Sergio Sette Camara in fourth.

Reigning world champion Jake Dennis was beaten in the quarter-finals but will start fifth, with Mitch Evans alongside him in sixth. Pascal Wehrlein secured seventh ahead of Nico Müller in P8.

As for championship leader Nick Cassidy, he was supposed to feature in the duels but had his final group lap deleted. The FIA penalised Cassidy as: "Torque at the rear wheels did not respect the homologated primary throttle pedal map."

Group A

The first qualifying group in Tokyo featured reigning world champion Dennis, current championship leader Cassidy and his team-mate Evans. It also featured Nissan's Rowland, who looked good across free practice.

Track evolution played a huge role, as the circuit ramped up as the session developed. Because of this, everybody wanted to be the last to start their final hot lap.

Rowland continued his strong form and topped the group, whilst Mahindra's Mortara, Cassidy and Dennis provisionally joined him in the all-important top four to progress to the duels.

However, Cassidy's lap was deleted following a technicality, promoting Evans into the duels.

Group B

In Group B, championship contender Wehrlein was the standout name, alongside both DS Penske drivers and São Paulo winner Sam Bird.

During the group, Sette Camara and Sacha Fenestraz both brushed a wall and were lucky to escape without damage, whilst Maserati's Günther looked rapid.

It was the German who ended the second group as the quickest driver, ahead of Sette Camara, Abt Cupra's Müller and Wehrlein. Elsewhere, Bird had a high-speed spin towards the end of the lap.

Himself and Jean-Eric Vergne are also under investigation for impeding.

Quarter-Finals

In the first quarter-final duel, Dennis went up against Mortara, who managed to compete in the duels in Tokyo, unlike in São Paulo following damage.

It was the Swiss driver who stunned the reigning world champion, after going three-tenths of a second quicker. Mortara's 1:19.008s was the fastest in the quarter-finals.

There was a nervy moment for Jaguar in the second duel, as Evans hit the wall at Turn 9 but somehow kept going. The incident cost him massively though, with Rowland beating him with ease.

Quarter-final number three was the battle of the underdogs, as Müller went up against Sette Camara. Sette Camara was the victor, courtesy of the second fastest lap in the quarter-finals.

Competing in the final quarter-final duel was Wehrlein and Günther, with the latter being somewhat of a one-lap demon. He demonstrated this once again, and defeated Wehrlein by three-tenths of a second.

Semi-Finals

Fighting for a place in the final in the opening semi-final duel was Rowland and Mortara. Rowland, of course, is representing Nissan in Tokyo, who have home support.

Rowland's pace in the semi-final was exceptional, with his 1:18.855s having been more than enough to defeat Mortara in Mahindra's first semi-final appearance of 2024.

Hoping to meet Rowland in the final were Günther and Sette Camara, with the latter having brushed the wall in the first sector. This damaged his ERT's steering.

As a result of Sette Camara's hit with the wall, Günther cruised into the final with ease. However, his lap was two-tenths slower than Rowland's.

Final

So, it was Rowland against Günther in the final, with the Briton having a chance to claim a famous pole position at Nissan's home race.

The final was incredibly close but it was Rowland who came out victorious by just 0.021s, to the delight of the thousands of Nissan fans in attendance. Rowland has now claimed pole in two of the last three races, and receives three championship points.

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