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Formula E – Third day of pre-season testing

_SBL0423Daniel Abt set a new Formula E lap record as testing resumed at Donington Park. The Abt Schaeffler driver used the full 200kw qualifying mode to record a lap of 1:30.250, comfortably quicker than Sebastien Buemi’s previous best of 1:31.050s, set on the final day of last week’s test.

“When Buemi said that a 1:29s was possible last week that really motivated me,” he said. “It was a positive day. There was no stopping on track and that’s the main thing. That meant I could just drive and performance-wise we were really good.”

Nicolas Prost was second fastest for Renault e.dams, but he wasn’t happy with the handling of his car on a windy day at Donington that once again drew a strong crowd.

“It was not bad you know, [I’m] not very happy with the car in terms of balance from last week but the pace was not bad. Let’s try to improve the car tomorrow and see but it’s not a bad day overall,” he said. “We’re still learning a lot each day, we are testing different things especially at the rear end of the car so in terms of set-up there are things to understand. Today we tried something extreme at the rear and I wasn’t so happy with the car.”

Third fastest was Sam Bird, who had both DS Virgin cars at his disposal much like Abt did at his team.

Bird said: “We’ve worked on a variety of things today from system checks to set-up work and everything has run smoothly. It helped having the extra running by jumping from car to car. So far it’s seems a good package, especially in torque six mode, but this circuit is not representative of what we’ll face in Beijing and there’s still work to do.”

After setting the pace in five of the previous six tests, Buemi was back in 10th after stopping on track with a broken gearbox during the afternoon session.

There was one new face in the paddock as the inaugural A1GP champion, Nicolas Lapierre, had a run out for Team Aguri. The Frenchman was the busiest driver of the day racking up almost 80 laps for the team.

As was the case in last week’s test there was little running for either Andretti or Trulli. New Andretti signing Simona de Silvestro made a few unsuccessful attempts at setting a lap time, but the Trulli cars remained back in the team’s garage for the whole day.

After its troubles at the previous test NEXTEV TCR was able to get some decent miles under its belt, although a technical problem did halt Nelson Piquet Jr in the early evening. After not running at all last time out, Oliver Turvey was able to complete 32 laps and was actually slightly faster than the reigning champion.

FIA Formula E Championship – Donington Park – Pre-season testing (Day 3) – Results: 1. Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, 1:30.250s 2. Nicolas Prost, Renault e.dams, +0.771s 3. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing, +0.773s 4. Loic Duval, DRAGON RACING, +0.894s 5. Jacques Villeneuve, Venturi, +0.943s 6. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +1.430s 7. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +1.446s 8. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, +1.555s 9. Nicolas Lapierre, Team Aguri, +2.444s 10. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams, +5.068s 11. Oliver Turvey, NEXTEV TCR, +6.523s 12. Nelson Piquet Jr, NEXTEV TCR, +7.210s 13. Simona de Silvestro, Andretti, no time set 14. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, no time set Press release Formule E

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