OLIVER Rowland is emerging as a contender for the Formula E championship after a third successive podium finish.

The 30-year-old finished second in the latest race in Tokyo.

That follows third-placed finishes in the previous two races in Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

He is now third in the standings with 54 points from five of 16 races.

He is nine points off the lead.

Rowland was quickest in qualifying group A, before setting the fastest time in all three stages of the ‘duels’ to clinch his second pole position of the season. Having held the lead for the majority of the race, Rowland dropped to second in an effort to save energy, attacking for the win in the final laps. Despite getting alongside the leader, he was unable to re-claim the lead.

It was a home race for Rowland’s Japanese team Nissan, the first ever in Tokyo.

Rowland said: “I'm really happy with the performance and the result this weekend. “To take our second pole of the season and third podium in a row is amazing, especially to do it at our home event. “Naturally, having led most of the race, I'm a bit frustrated not to have gotten the win. “I had to give up the lead to save energy after the safety car, and did everything I could in the last few laps to get the position back, but in the end it was just too risky and I couldn't make the move. The car was great, we knew we had the pace, especially in qualifying. The track was awesome, a big challenge for the drivers and I really enjoyed being out there. It was also amazing to have so much support here, so a big thanks to the Japanese fans for cheering us on.”

Tommaso Volpe, the managing director and team principal said; “We were quick from FP1 and Oli performed superbly in qualifying to clinch pole. He controlled the race well, but had to drop to second to save energy in the slipstream. He tried hard to get the position back and it's a shame that he couldn't make the move, but P2 is still a fantastic result. The team was disappointed after the race, but this is a good sign as it shows how our mentality is now to win.”

The next races are in Misano, Italy on April 13 and 14.

The electric car series then moves on to Monaco, Shanghai, Berlin, Portland and London.