The manufacturers have stepped up their testing of the new Formula E Gen3 car on a circuit in Europe, with Porsche, DS and Nissan starting serious reliability work.
The so-called “continental test” began on Monday and the three manufacturers involved have clocked up laps.
DS operates with its dedicated test team, which is largely independent from its usual racing team, but with key engineers crossed between the two.
His test driver and sporting director, James Rossiter, is said to be driving his test and development car this week, while Jean-Eric Vergne is also expected to test the car later this summer after completing his upcoming Marrakech E-Prix. Monza Triple head of the World Endurance Championship and the New York E-Prix.
DS is set to partner with the Dragon Penske organization for the Gen3 competition era, with Vergne being joined by Stoffel Vandoorne.
Current points leader Vandoorne will make his first race in the Gen3 car shortly after stepping down from the Mercedes EQ team in August.
Nissan has test and simulation driver Jann Mardenboough on hand for the majority of testing, which will continue until the end of the week.
Mardenborough has completed simulator duties for Nissan as it continues its restructuring after taking over the e.dams business to fully control its own license and entry into Formula E.
The Race revealed earlier this month that the ART Grand Prix team is involved as a technical and operational supplier for Nissan’s Gen3 program, with several of its employees taking part in the test this week.
Nissan uses the AOTech simulator in the south of France, near the ART base in Tigery. This is where Mardenborough has performed several sessions in recent months.
Stéphane Sarrazin continues to attend the E-Prix as a reserve and advisor for Nissan e.dams and could also drive the Gen3 car in the coming weeks.
Indeed, Nissan e.dams has yet to fully define its Gen3 driver line-up, as Sebastien Buemi will leave for Envision Racing for 2023.
Maximilian Guenther is expected to continue for a second season but is currently unconfirmed. The identity of a teammate is currently still under consideration.
Porsche is continuing to race after rocking its test and development car at its private Weissach test track earlier this month.
Factory GT driver and recent 24 Hours of Le Mans LMGTE Pro winner Frederic Makowiecki was on hand Monday to drive the Porsche.
The experienced tire tester drove for Porsche in the 2020 Marrakesh rookie test and is set to feature prominently in Gen3 testing due to his renowned technical feedback, especially when it comes to evaluating new rubber Hankook.
As The Race reported last week, Andre Lotterer is set to join Jake Dennis on the Porsche-supplied Avalanche Andretti team next season when it will be announced shortly that his own seat in the factory team will be occupied by Antonio Felix da Costa.
Porsche’s Florian Modlinger told The Race that “at this early stage the main focus is on getting the car running, racking up mileage and understanding the whole package”.
“[Porsche will be] hardware check [both teams’ own developments and also the common parts]systems and functions if everything works as expected,” he said.
“It’s not just a test of reliability, it’s clearly a checklist item, but there’s a lot more to check.
“With Hankook, a new tire supplier has arrived and a clear objective is also to learn and understand as quickly as possible the needs of this tire and how to get the most out of it.
“Front regeneration and the front engine is the next topic. Braking will be a key factor in performance.
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