DS Virgin Racing are determined to show what it can do in Marrakech, after a miserable season-opener in Hong Kong.
The British team failed to score any points despite starting third and fourth on the grid and was leading the race with Sam Bird for the majority of the first stint.
Bird suffered a gearbox problem while changing to his second car, which cost him an extra minute in the pitlane compared to his rivals.
Jose Maria Lopez suffered suspension damage in a first corner incident with his teammate, which saw the Argentine driver end the race in the wall.
However, Lopez has a vast amount of experience at the Marreseh circuit, due to his time at the World Touring car Championship, something that most of his competitors don’t have.
“I’ve raced and won here three times before with the WTCC” explains López. “It was a touch narrow. But then again, a Formula E car takes up less room than a WTCC car, so It should be a good fight.”
The team’s experience here isn’t limited to its drivers. Some of the DS Virgin engineers have a history of racing and winning in Marrakech and are confident this will give the team an edge. Virgin’s track simulator testing revealed that the achievable top speed for a Formula E car is 210 km/h, faster than WTCC’s 205 km/h.
The track is a dramatic departure from Hong Kong – twelve turns to Hong Kong’s nine and over half a kilometre longer. As the longest track in the series, the teams’ challenge for Marrakech will be tactical battery preservation – something that Sam Bird displayed masterfully during Hong Kong, leading the pack for several laps before the car change.
Marrakesh is the longest track in the series, the teams’ challenge will be tactical battery preservation – something that Sam Bird displayed masterfully during Hong Kong, leading the pack for several laps before the car change.
Bird has forgotten about what happened in Hong Kong, as the British driver was on to a comfortable victory until his gearbox issue.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is Race one now. Let’s put points on the board” said Bird.