Stoffel Vandoorne made the most of damp track conditions to score his maiden pole position in Formula E as rain shook up qualifying for the Hong Kong E-Prix on Sunday.

Ex-McLaren Formula 1 driver Vandoorne topped the initial qualifying heats for HWA Racelab before taking advantage of his final slot in the running order and the emerging drying line to grab pole, edging out Nissan's Oliver Rowland.

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A lap of 1m11.580s gave Vandoorne top spot by three-tenths of a second, marking his first Formula E pole for only his fifth start, as well as giving the Belgian his first Formula E score after picking up the three-point bonus.

It is also his first pole position in any form of racing since the Super Formula round at Fuji in July 2016.

Rowland was left to settle for P2 for Nissan ahead of Venturi's Edoardo Mortara, who will drop to sixth on the final grid after speeding under a red flag in the opening stages of qualifying.

Andre Lotterer took P4 for DS Techeetah ahead of Vandoorne's HWA teammate, Gary Paffett, who could only muster fifth after making an error on his Super Pole lap. Lucas di Grassi wound up sixth for Audi, paying the price for being the first man out in Super Pole when the track was at its wettest.

The wet conditions caused havoc for a number of the early Season 5 championship contenders, with four of the top five in the standings failing to make it through to Super Pole. Sam Bird narrowly missed out on a berth in sixth place, but Antonio Felix da Costa, Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d'Ambrosio all struggled running in the opening group, meaning they will fill out the bottom three places of the grid.

Sebastien Buemi and Felipe Massa both failed to follow their teammates at Nissan and Venturi respectively through to Super Pole, qualifying eighth and ninth, while Robin Frijns rounded out the top 10 on the grid for Virgin.

Tom Dillmann will start 11th for NIO ahead of Audi's Daniel Abt, with Alexander Sims and Jose Maria Lopez following in 13th and 14th.

The Brazilian pair of Nelson Piquet Jr. and Felipe Nasr took P15 and P16 ahead of Jaguar's Mitch Evans, while defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne was demoted to 17th on the grid after his best lap time was deleted following a spin that caused a red flag.

Vergne's warm-up lap was still enough to ensure he stayed off the lower reaches of the grid, beating Oliver Turvey and the title-contending trio of da Costa, Wehrlein and d'Ambrosio who propped up the timesheets.

 

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