After what was a highly encouraging but ultimately disappointing season opener for the NIO Formula E Team at the season opener in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, the team is confident that bigger things are just around the corner, starting in Marrakesh on Saturday.
New driver Tom Dillmann appeared to have given the team a brilliant start, initially putting his car on the front row of the grid alongside eventual race winner Antonio Felix da Costa before a qualifying infringement relegated him to the back. With Oliver Turvey similarly penalized, it was to both drivers’ credit that they finished 13th and 14th respectively in the opening round.
This year’s race at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan will be the third in the sport’s history with Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist triumphant last season and Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi the inaugural victor in 2017.
For Dillmann, the Marrakesh ePrix represents a step into the unknown, but the Frenchman is confident that all the work done on the team’s race simulator will stand him in good stead.
“This will be my first time in Marrakesh,” said Dillmann. “I have learned the layout on the sim, and it’s pretty accurate, so I will take that experience and drive like I know the track as soon as I get behind the wheel.”
For Turvey, it will be his third visit to the Moroccan setting and the Englishman believes it could be one that suits his driving style.
“The track in Marrakesh is fast and flowing with long straights that provide overtaking opportunities,” added Turvey. “It is relatively smooth although some braking zones are bumpy, making it a challenging and exciting track.”
It's been a year since we were last in Marrakesh… Here's a refresher on Circuit Moulay El Hassan and what our drivers can expect at Saturday's race 🏁#NIO #BornToPushLimits #ABBFormulaE #MarrakeshEPrix pic.twitter.com/JE313h24Dj
— NIO (@NIOGlobal) January 6, 2019
As always, fan boost is now open for fans to help give their favorite driver an added 25kW of power when they need it to defend position or attack for places.
⚡️FANBOOST has opened! Get behind Team NIO and vote for @OliverTurvey or @TomDillmann to give them a potentially game changing boost. Tweet #FANBOOST + #OliverTurvey or #TomDillmann or vote here https://t.co/E3PUSnGPCx ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/wm1s7Ap0yv
— NIO (@NIOGlobal) January 7, 2019
Marrakesh will also see Jamie Chadwick gain a further taste of the action for the second timed rookie test with NIO. And once again, British GT4 champion Chadwick is delighted to be back behind the wheel after impressing first time out.
“I’m thrilled to be jumping back into the NIO Season 5 Formula E car at the official rookie test event in Marrakesh,” said Chadwick. “I loved every minute of the first test in Riyadh and now I am acclimatized to the car, I am confident we can have a successful test. Once again, a huge thank you to Gérry (Hughes) and the team for giving me the opportunity. I cannot wait.”