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NIO Elects to Skip First ‘Gen 2′ Group Test

The NIO team has elected to miss the first group test of the new ‘Gen 2’ car next month…

Photo: Formula E

NIO Formula E Team has stated its intention to skip the first group test of the new ‘Gen 2’ ABB FIA Formula E Championship car.

The test, which will take place at Monteblanco in Spain on March 26-28, will be the first time that registered manufacturers will have the opportunity to run the cars.

So far, Spark Technologies has worked as an independent entity on developing the striking new car, which was revealed last month.

NIO has already stated plans not to run at the first test, as it continues to assemble and ready its test program.

The group tests, which are organized by the FIA and Spark Technologies, are not mandatory.

As a consequence, additional running will not be granted should a manufacturer elect to skip one of them.

“We have elected not to run a car [at Monteblanco],” NIO team principal Gerry Hughes told e-racing365. “However, we will be present, we will have representation there.

“Purely and simply, it is all about the scheduling of components. It is not that we are having any issues with a particular component; it is just about the scheduling.

“When we entered into the agreements with our partners I don’t think that the tests were even pencilled in about when they were going to be.”

NIO has elected to forgo the Monteblanco running and concentrate on readying its challenger for subsequent tests, of which there are believed to be a further two, featuring all manufacturers.

The Chinese team gave notice of its plans to fellow competitors at a meeting in Marrakesh last month.

It will instead concentrate on running for the first time at the second group test, which is scheduled to take place at Circuit de Calafat, also in Spain.

NIO considers the Catalan track its home test venue after conducting thousands of kilometers of running there over the years.

“When Paul [Fickers, performance program engineering director] and myself first engaged on the Season Five car, we put our own schedule in place, just as we have done for every car we have produced together,” Hughes explained.

“It just means that effectively we are a couple of weeks out for test one, but we will be there for the second test, actively taking part.

“When we go testing we want to utilize the time to the best of our ability and we just didn’t feel it was right.

“Considering we are taking onboard new powertrains, new chassis, [and a] new battery supplier, it is going to be challenging for everyone.”

E-racing365 believes that at least one other manufacturer is considering skipping the first test next month.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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