Abt smashes lap record in testing

Abt smashes lap record in testing

Daniel Abt smashed the unofficial Formula E lap record on the first day of the second Donington Park test.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 (1:05 pm)
The Abt Audi Sport driver’s 1m30.250s, set with just over 10 minutes left on the clock, was 0.771s quicker than Nicolas Prost managed and eight tenths clear of Sebastien Buemi’s existing circuit best.

Abt had been relatively quiet prior to his late-Monday flourish, logging 28 laps in his Abt Schaeffler FE01.

“Last time we could already see we have a good package and now it’s about making it reliable,” Abt told AUTOSPORT.

“We had no real issues, so we started to focus on performance runs. The lap was quite good but I was surprised.”

His flier demoted Prost to second in the lead Renault e.dams car, the Frenchman recovering from an early gearbox problem to set a 1m31.021s, a fraction under Buemi’s best from last week.

DS Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird was third, 0.002s slower than Prost. The Briton, who will hand over his Virgin DSV-01, to Jean-Eric Vergne for the second day, improved with three minutes remaining.

That bumped the Venturi VM200-FE-01s of Loic Duval, in the customer Dragon Racing entry, and Jacques Villeneuve, driving for the Venturi team, to fourth and fifth respectively.

Frenchman Duval was top before a flurry of late improvements, while Villenueve put in his strongest performance of pre-season testing so far as the last driver within a second of Abt’s best.

A number of cars suffered reliability problems, including opening-test pacesetter Buemi, who completed just seven laps, and 2014/15 champion Nelson Piquet, who managed 13.

Tenth-placed Buemi stopped his Renault Z.E.15 on track with a battery problem, ending his day two hours early – and at the same time as a similar problem afflicted Piquet’s Team China Racing-run NEXTEV TCR 001.

Briton Oliver Turvey is favourite for the second China seat and had a more productive day than Piquet by completing 29 laps, though was an unrepresentative 11th and 6.5s off the pace.

Another man auditioning for a drive, Nicolas Lapierre, logged the most laps with 60 aboard the Team Aguri Spark SRT_01E, but two teams failed to manage any.

Jarno Trulli’s team fried its batteries last week and was not present on Monday, though may attempt to run tomorrow.

Andretti’s software issues continued as newly-confirmed driver Simona de Silvestro failed to run after stopping at the end of the pitlane when she tried to join the start of the afternoon session.

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