Nick Cassidy claimed pole position for the final round of the season at the London E-Prix, after defeating Mitch Evans in the final.

In a repeat of Saturday’s final, it was Cassidy who had the edge by one-hundredth of a second over his fellow Kiwi, in what was an all-Jaguar powertrain affair. Cassidy claimed pole and the three points for P1 after posting a 1m 10.092s. Norman Nato qualified third for Nissan, ahead of new World Champion Jake Dennis in fourth.

So, as the final qualifying session of the 2022/23 season got underway, new World Champion Dennis featured in the first group. Cassidy was also in Group A, with him having inherited pole position on Saturday.

With Dennis having sealed the title, the pressure was completely off the British driver, whose only intention was to have fun. The same couldn’t be said for Sam Bird and both Envision drivers in the opening group, with Jaguar and Envision being joint-top of the Constructors’ Championship.

Following the initial runs, Sébastian Buemi topped the group ahead of Bird, Dan Ticktum and René Rast. Dennis and Cassidy found themselves in seventh and eighth, leaving the pair with work to do in the closing minutes.

The top four saw plenty of change on the penultimate hot laps, as Cassidy went to the top on a 1m 10.521s. Dennis still needed to find time as he remained in sixth, with him having just one lap left to get himself into the duels.

As the chequered flag was flown, Dennis set the fastest final sector of the session, promoting him to second behind Cassidy, who topped the group. Buemi and Bird finished third and fourth in Group A, meaning all three Jaguar-powered cars in the session progressed to the duels.

The pressure was on Evans to join his team-mate in the duels, in an attempt to qualify ahead of the Envision drivers. However, as Group B got underway, spits of rain were reported at Turn 16, where Sacha Fenestraz crashed heavily on Saturday.

It was Fenestraz’s team-mate Nato who topped the group halfway through, ahead of Evans, Edoardo Mortara and Pascal Wehrlein. As the group reached its close, several drivers were setting purple and green sector times.

None more so than Nico Müller, who jumped to second with two minutes remaining. When the chequered flag was flown though, Evans went to the top, to secure a spot in the duels. Müller brilliantly remained in second to join the Kiwi in the duels, along with Nato and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Ahead of the quarter-finals, the rain intensified at the ExCeL Centre, adding to the excitement ahead of the duels.

The first quarter-final saw the World Champion against Buemi, who collided with Cassidy on Saturday. Through the first half of the lap, Buemi held an advantage of almost two-tenths of a second; however, Dennis started to pull time back.

The World Champion remarkably made up significant time in the final sector, to go 0.018s faster than Buemi, progressing the Andretti driver into the semi-finals.

Cassidy then went up against Bird in an important quarter-final for both drivers, given that it was a Jaguar versus Envision duel. It was the Kiwi who qualified for the semi-finals after posting a strong 1m 10.228s, just under three-tenths quicker than Bird.

Quarter-final number three was Nato against Müller, with the latter having been pushing to give ABT CUPRA something to celebrate. Unfortunately for the Swiss driver, he was defeated by Nato by over two-tenths of a second.

The final quarter-final featured the two title rivals from last season, as Evans went up against Vandoorne. Nothing separated the duo through the first sector; however, Evans went two-tenths quicker than Vandoorne in the final two sectors. Evans set a very strong 1m 10.137s, in what was the quickest lap of the weekend at the time.

Into the semi-finals, and the opening duel of this phase saw Dennis against former title rival Cassidy. It was Cassidy’s opportunity to get some revenge, but only 0.023s separated the pair through the first two sectors. Across the line and it was Cassidy who defeated Dennis by just under two-tenths of a second, to secure back-to-back final appearances.

Aiming to meet Cassidy in the final were Evans and Nato, with the Jaguar driver having been the clear favourite. Evans showed exactly why he was the favourite to defeat the Nissan driver, as he went five-tenths quicker than the Frenchman. The New Zealander set a stunning 1m 10.008s, eclipsing the best lap of the weekend he set in the quarter-finals.

With Evans having comfortably defeated Nato, it meant the final qualifying duel of the season was a replica of yesterday’s. It was Evans who defeated Cassidy on Saturday; however, it was Cassidy who started on pole due to a grid penalty for his compatriot.

Evans had the edge narrowly through the first two sectors in the final; however, Cassidy set an unbelievable final sector. It saw him snatch pole position by just 0.010s over Evans, handing Envision a three-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the season finale.

Evans will start second ahead of Nato and Dennis, with Vandoorne completing the top five. Bird, Buemi, Müller, Ticktum and Wehrlein complete the top 10.

The Constructors’ Championship will be decided when the 16th and final round of 2023 gets underway at 17:03 GMT

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