Vandoorne wins trail race as Frijns ends the day fastest

Mercedes Stoffel Vandoorne showed the first signs of promise for Mercedes as the Belgian won the simulation race, while Robin FRijns kept Virgin Racing one top as he ended the day fastest.

The simulation race followed Formula E’s normal race format of 45-minute plus one lap format, however, the trial event featured two Safety Car periods and one Full Course Yellow.

This was done to test out the new sporting regulation that will see 1kwh deducted from the teams’ energy allowance during the safety car and FCY periods.

The second safety car period ended with just under two minutes and a lap left of the race to set up a dash for the line.

The race saw  Vandoorne cross the finish line first, followed by DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa and Audi’s Lucas di Grassi.

Pascal Wehrlein had led the early stages but was overtaken first by Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara and then Vandoorne. The Mahindra driver eventually came home in sixth behind Jean-Eric Vergne, who was fifth, and Sebastien Buemi in fourth.

Alexander Sims was placed second on the penultimate lap but pitted just ahead of the final ‘plus one’ lap in his BMW iFE.20 as a precaution when his tire pressures dropped off.

Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans completed the event seventh after running for some of the early stages behind new teammate James Calado.

Due to accidents in the morning session, Andre Lotterer and Sam Bird missed the start of the race, although Bird did join in after 30 minute.

Frijns maintained  Virgin Racing strong start to pre-season testing by setting the fastest lap of the week so far with a time of 1:15.377.

The Dutchman completed his morning program despite being suffering from a significant fever but was still able to go two-tenths faster than team-mate Sam Bird’s best from Tuesday’s session.

BMW drivers Maximilian Guenther and Alexander Sims placed second and third, with just 0.060s covering the top three.

Nissan e.dams driver Oliver Rowland took fourth, while GEOX Dragon’s Nico Muller and DS Techeetah’s Antonio Felix da Costa rounded out the top six.

The morning session saw five red flags, two of which were triggered by accidents suffered by Mercedes EQ’s Nyck de Vries and Porsche’s Lotterer.

De Vries hit the tire wall at the exit of the chicane, while Lotterer became the second Porsche driver to find the same wall in as many days.

The other three stoppages were called for after Mahindra driver Jerome d’Ambrosio nudged the wall and both Daniel Abt of Audi and Felipe Massa of Venturi stopped on track.

Abt’s stop was precautionary, while Massa suffered damage to his gearbox after tagging a wall.

In the afternoon session, Bird also damaged his car on the chicane wall slightly damaging his car and bringing out the final red flag of the day.

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