Chile’s capital city ready to unveil new circuit
SANTIAGO, CHILE (Jan. 24, 2019) – Nissan e.dams heads to South America this week for the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, ready to compete at the brand-new Parque O’Higgins circuit in Santiago.
This week’s round is the second time the electric street racing championship has visited the Chilean capital. This year, the race moves to the new 2.4-kilometer circuit set up in the 185-acre city park.
Nissan is the newest manufacturer to join the championship, which is contested over 13 races in 12 cities around the world. Nissan is using Formula E to demonstrate the performance side of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the brand’s vision for changing how cars are driven, powered and integrated into society.
Nissan is the global sales leader for electric vehicles and has introduced several new innovations in recent months. The debut of the company’s Formula E car was followed by the unveiling of the Nissan LEAF RC concept racer and the newly upgraded Nissan LEAF e+. Last week, the electric Nissan IMs “elevated sports sedan” concept was launched at the North American International Auto Show.
Nissan is committed to bringing electrification to Latin America. The company launched the new LEAF in the region in 2018. The 100% electric vehicle made its debut in the region at the 2018 São Paulo Motor Show and the Bogotá International Motor Show. Currently, there is an exclusive pre-sale program of the Nissan LEAF available for Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.
The Nissan e.dams team has impressed in its two races to date in season five of the Formula E championship. Former series champion Sebastien Buemi is the best performing qualifier so far this season, after starting third and fourth in the opening two rounds.
Teammate Oliver Rowland was the best performing rookie in the opening round, when he charged from fourteenth on the grid to a seventh-place finish.
At the most recent round in Marrakesh, Morocco, Buemi was unlucky after being forced wide at the first corner by a spinning car – dropping him from third place to 13th in the opening lap. He charged back through the field to cross the line in eighth position. In the process, he recorded the second-fastest lap of the race.
“We had the pace but not the luck in Marrakesh,” said Michael Carcamo, Nissan’s global motorsports director. “Everyone on the Nissan e.dams team is looking forward to turning that pace into results in Chile.
“We knew coming into the championship that the level of competition was going to be intense. Our pace has been strong, and if it wasn’t for the drama in turn one in Marrakesh, we could’ve been on the podium.
“Every lap is a learning process for us, and we’ll be looking to make further improvements for Chile with our energy management systems and overall car performance.”
Nissan e.dams completed more important development miles at the Marrakesh Formula E rookie test held on the Sunday after round two. Test and reserve driver Mitsunori Takaboshi and simulator driver Jann Mardenborough both took the wheel.
“Everyone at Nissan e.dams, Nissan and NISMO has continued to work closely together after Marrakesh to examine the data from the weekend and work toward setting a baseline for Santiago,” said Jean-Paul Driot, Nissan e.dams team principal.
“This is another brand-new circuit for the championship, and Sebastien and Oliver have already completed many virtual miles in preparation for this weekend. The rookie test with Mitsunori and Jann last week gave us more important data to continue to fine-tune our simulator program.”
The new season five race format for Formula E has continued to thrill fans around the world. The new Attack Mode concept allows drivers to use extra power for a short period of the race to try to gain an advantage.
Fans can also help their favorite driver win an extra power boost by tweeting or posting on Instagram using the hashtags #FANBOOST and #sebastienbuemi or #oliverrowland. This helped Buemi during his comeback drive in Marrakesh. The five drivers who receive the most votes from fans get a five-second boost of power to use during the race.
Cars will hit the track for the first time at 3 p.m. local time on Friday for the Santiago e-Prix shakedown. Saturday’s action begins at 8 a.m., with the 45-minute (plus one lap) race scheduled for 4:04 p.m.
“I’m heading to Chile in a confident state of mind. Although luck wasn’t on our side in Marrakesh, our Nissan e.dams car was very fast.
“Sometimes the result can be entirely out of your hands. All you can do is keep concentrating on improving the car and preparing as best you can.
“I had a great run through to the podium in Chile last year, and I’m looking forward to trying the new circuit.
“The new race format for Formula E has certainly been exciting for the fans. We’ve had a couple of races to work out when and how to use that extra power boost. It’s like a high-speed game of chess, because you also have to take what our rivals are doing into consideration before you activate Attack Mode.”
“Being able to use the simulator has been a tremendous help for me in my first full season in the championship, as I’m able to arrive fully prepared and ready to attack.
“The one-day race format doesn’t give you a lot of time to learn new circuits. But this week will be the same for everyone, as the Parque O’Higgins track is being used for the first time.
“I had great pace during the two practice sessions in Marrakesh. My goal now is to continue that throughout the entire day in Santiago. You basically get one flying lap on full-power in qualifying. Starting toward the front is so important, because the level of competition is so tough.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements we can make this week with the extra data the team gained from the rookie test as well.”
Santiago ePrix track
Length: 2.407 km
Turns: 14 turns
Friday, Jan. 25
3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Shakedown
Saturday, Jan. 26
8 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.: Practice 1
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.: Practice 2
12 p.m. – 12:35 p.m.: Qualifying
12:45 p.m. – 13:05 p.m.: Super Pole
16:04 p.m.: Race (45 min + 1 lap)
About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, INFINITI and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2017, the company sold 5.77 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 11.9 trillion yen. On April 1, 2017, the company embarked on Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022, a six-year plan targeting a 30% increase in annualized revenues to 16.5 trillion yen by the end of fiscal 2022, along with cumulative free cash flow of 2.5 trillion yen. As part of Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022, the company plans to extend its leadership in electric vehicles, symbolized by the world’s best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, manages operations in six regions: Asia & Oceania; Africa, the Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America; and North America. Nissan has partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999 and acquired a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors in 2016. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is today the world’s largest automotive partnership, with combined sales of more than 10.6 million vehicles in calendar year 2017.
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