07/29/2017 09:16 EDT | Updated 07/29/2017 11:41 EDT

Di Grassi takes pole position, closes Formula E championship gap on leader Buemi

MONTREAL — Lucas Di Grassi closed the gap with Formula E leader Sebastien Buemi by taking pole position Saturday at the Hydro-Quebec Montreal ePrix electric car race.

Di Grassi earned three drivers championship points for winning pole and now trails Buemi by only seven points going into the next-to-last race of the season later Saturday.

In the final round of qualifying, the Abt Audi driver posted the quickest lap on the 2.75-kilometre downtown street circuit of one minute 22.869 seconds.

Buemi was second-fastest at 1:23.065, but the e.dams Renault driver was penalized 10 places on the starting grid because he needed some parts replaced after a major crash during practice Saturday morning.

Third-place Stephane Sarrazin of the Techeetah squad will move up to the front row beside Di Grassi. Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist and Buemi's teammate Nico Prost start just behind them.

The second of two morning practice sessions was halted with just under nine minutes left when Buemi drove straight into a barrier on a chicane. His car's front end was in pieces, but the Swiss driver walked away.

Quick repairs will be needed to get the car back on track for the race. He used his second car for qualifying, but drivers need both vehicles to take part in the race.

Buemi has won six of the eight races he has entered this season, but the championship was up in the air going into the final events of the 2016-17 season Saturday and Sunday in Montreal.