BMW’s Alexander Sims ends Day 1 Fastest


BMW driver Alexander Sims ended the first day of pre-season testing fastest in the series’ news Gen2 car at Valencia.

The British driver who will make his FE debut in the upcoming campaign also topped the morning session at the Ricardo Tormo circuit with a time of 1m17.567s.

But the BMW driver went even faster towards the end of the afternoon running when he set a 1m17.553s, as the majority of the drivers improved during the afternoon session.

Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer ended the day with the second fastest time with a 1m17.654s, which put him 0.101 seconds behind of Sims.

The second of the BMW Andretti drivers Antonio Felix da Costa finished the day in third, having been second-fastest to his BMW team-mate in the morning session.

In fourth and fifth were both Audi drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt. The German team dominated testing 12 months ago, but they may have some catching up to do if BMW’s early pace can be replicated later this week.

Jerome D’Ambrosio, in his Mahindra, was sixth for his new team, one place ahead of reigning FE champion Jean-Eric Vergne in seventh. Ex-Formula One racer Pascal Wehrlein -D’Ambrosio’s teammate- was 13th fastest.

Sebastien Buemi finished the day with the eighth fastest time, half a second slower than Sims. The Nissan e.dams driver also completed 16 laps in Alexander Albon’s car in the afternoon.

Jose Maria Lopez was ninth for Dragon Racing, with FE newcomer Felipe Massa rounding out the top 10 for Venturi.

Sam Bird was the highest place Virgin Racing driver in 11th, with his new team-mate Robin Frijns ending up in 14th place.

Mitch Evans and his Jaguar team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr both set their fastest times of the day in the morning and ended up 16th and 20th.

It was a difficult day for  DTM champion and HWA driver Gary Paffett who caused a red flag when he slid into the tight chicane that has been built three-quarters of the way down the start/finish straight to simulate the tighter confines of regular FE circuits.

The crash occurred with just over an hour of the morning session remaining, with Paffett rejoining in the afternoon after his car had been repaired to set the day’s 18th quickest time.

Paffett’s HWA team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was 19th fastest, 3.47s slower than Sims, but did not complete a lap in the afternoon session.

Maximilian Gunther was the slowest driver to set a timed lap, with Albon and Antonio Fuoco, who is sharing the #6 Dragon Racing car with Gunther this week, not setting a time all day.


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