The world’s first electric racing series opens in Hong Kong on Sunday & Audi will be the official partner of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
While the Audi DTM team is preparing for a thrilling finale at the Hockenheimring, the new Formula E season begins on Sunday, 9 October. The electric race cars of Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport will compete in the metropolis of Hong Kong, under the banner of the Four Rings for the first time.
On the road to a fully factory-backed commitment, Audi is using the 2016/2017 season to learn more about the world’s first fully electric racing series and to prepare for the 2017/2018 season. The former Formula 1 driver and Le Mans winner Allan McNish has provisionally assumed responsibility for coordinating the Formula E project at Audi Sport in Neuburg, and will be on site at the season opener alongside the Deputy Head of Audi Motorsport, Dieter Gass.
Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport has prepared intensively for the new Formula E season, and has thoroughly tested the ABT Schaeffler FE02 electric race car. After the completion of the official tests at Donington Park on 7 September, dyno tests were on the agenda above all. Both the team’s drivers, Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi, practiced on the near three-kilometre-long track in the Hong Kong harbour in the simulator, delivering valuable information for setting up the car and the software to the team’s engineers.
“Similar to the DTM, the Formula E race cars are homologated and cannot be altered during the season,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “At the same time, the software, which is so crucial to energy management in Formula E, can be constantly worked on. We have plenty of experience in this field, from the FIA World Endurance Championship, which we can use to support the team.”
In mid-September, the Formula E organisation loaded the team’s four race cars onto a plane and shipped them to Hong Kong. They were delivered to the circuit on 6 October. In total, the team has sent about eight tons of material on the Formula E world tour.
The first step now is to set up the temporary pits in the paddock of the race track, which is located near the famous Star Ferry terminal in the Hong Kong harbour. Subsequently, the team will start working on the race cars and present them to the FIA for technical scrutineering, including the sealing of the motors, inverters, transmissions and other components.
On Saturday, 8 October, from 15:00 to 15:30, a brief shakedown session on the track is scheduled. On Sunday, 9 October, there will be two free practice sessions, as well as a qualifying round which is split between four groups, followed by a “Super Pole” – individual time trials by the quickest five. The first race of the new Formula E season begins at 16:00 (10:00 CEST). The opener of the third Formula E season will be broadcast on television worldwide in 120 countries, and hundreds of media representatives have been accredited.
At fanboost.fiaformulae.com, motorsport fans can help Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi in the race with their votes on the so-called “FanBoost”. Through voting, three drivers each receive extra power for a short time, up to 270 hp. In normal race conditions, the power output of the ABT Schaeffler FE02 is 231 hp.
As an introduction to the Formula E opener, Audi Hong Kong has invited ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport to a reception on Friday evening, 7 October, in the showroom at the Admiralty Centre close to the track.