Tom Dillmann NIO

Dillmann and Turvey raring to go for NIO in Ad Diriyah opener

For all eleven teams and 22 drivers assembling at the new Ad Diriyah Formula E venue this weekend, the excitement of kicking off a new season is palpable.

This season, new regulations including ‘Attack Mode’ and faster ‘Gen2’ cars that will last the duration of the race on one battery charge means that every team and driver will be taking a step into the unknown.

Motorsport Tech will be paying particular attention to the exploits of Acronis partner team NIO and its exciting driver pairing of Tom Dillmann and Oliver Turvey, and the beautiful teal and white NIO 004 Generation 2 chassis that they will be driving.

Frenchman Dillmann, who joins NIO from Venturi, can’t wait to get behind the wheel this weekend on what he believes will be a challenging circuit.

“I am super excited to get the season underway with the team and see what we can do,” said Dillmann. “The Ad Diriyah e-Prix circuit layout looks very challenging and quite different to the usual Formula E tracks. From what I have learnt so far on the sim it could be a real highlight, and perhaps a little unpredictable. I cannot wait get on track.”

As always, the popular interactive ‘Fan Boost’ from previous seasons is still in effect wherein fans vote for their favorite driver across social media. But in another change, the number of drivers that can win the boost through popular vote increases from three to five.

For Englishman Turvey, this season marks his fourth with the team and despite many strong points finishes, including a second behind Daniel Abt in Mexico, he is hunting for his maiden victory. So why not give him a Fan Boost and help him to achieve this goal!

“I’m looking forward to starting Season 5 of Formula E with the new Gen 2 car and the new race format with attack mode,” said Turvey. “The Riyadh track looks like an exciting one with a combination of fast flowing corners and overtaking opportunities, so I can’t wait to get out on track and go racing.”

For Gérry Hughes, Team Principal, the dawning of a new era for the sport brings a mixture of apprehension and excitement about what the team can achieve this year. Motorsport Tech certainly shares in that.

“We are very soon arriving at the dawn of a new technological era in the field of single seater EV racing and coupling that with the challenge that a new race circuit always brings, it is only right to have a degree of apprehension on the lead-up to competition day in Saudi Arabia,” commented Hughes.

“However, the past few weeks have allowed the NIO Formula E Team to continue their preparations for this all important inaugural event with the NIO 004 Generation 2 Formula E Chassis and we will approach this event like any other, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

Top image: Tom Dillmann looking at the NIO 004 during the car reveal in London, U.K., 2018.

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.