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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
DS Virgin Racing is determined to show what it can do in Marrakesh, after missing the opportunity to win the season-opener in Hong Kong.
DS Virgin Racing is determined to show what it can do in Marrakesh, after missing the opportunity to win the season-opener in Hong Kong.For the team, round two is all about capitalising on the undoubted pace of the car and drivers to get points on the board.
Despite both cars qualifying on the second row of the grid in Hong Kong, DS Virgin Racing came away without scoring any points in the opening race of the 2016-17 Formula E season. The team is focused on rectifying this at the second round of the championship, as Formula E makes its debut in Africa at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan.
Marrakesh is a track of significance to DS Virgin Racing, both to its drivers and engineers. “I’ve raced and won here three times before with the WTCC,” explains José María 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 engineers have a history of racing and winning in Marrakesh and are confident this will give them an advantage. DS Virgin Racing’s track simulator testing has also revealed that the top achievable speed for a Formula E car is 210 km/h, faster than the 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 on the Formula E calendar, the challenge for Marrakesh will be tactical battery preservation – something that Sam Bird displayed masterfully during Hong Kong, leading the pack for several laps before the car change.
This weekend’s Marrakesh ePrix coincides with the COP22 Summit: a meeting of the world’s leaders on sustainability and climate change. In tandem, DS Virgin Racing will be hosting an Innovation Summit in front of the team garage on 10 November, featuring international panellists discussing EVs and sustainable technology.
“We’ve gone to space, we’ve done biofuel flight and we were the first to go non-stop solo around the world. Virgin is all about making sustainability fast," states Team Principal Alex Tai.
Pechito and Sam Bird arrive in Marrakesh with a point to prove after Hong Kong. “As far as I’m concerned, this is race one now. Let’s put points on the board,” explains Sam Bird.