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Bird Tops First Day of Valencia Test

Sam Bird sets the pace on Day 1 of Valencia test with a late flier…

Photo: Marc Calvo

Sam Bird headed the times at the end of the first day of the traditional promoter’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia on Tuesday.

The Envision Virgin Racing driver took his Audi-powered entry to the top of the times in the final ten minutes of the afternoon session with a best lap of 1:15.570 to beat Maximilian Guenther’s best lap from the morning session by 0.4 seconds.

Sebastien Buemi had earlier set the fastest time in the afternoon session with a lap of 1:15.913.

The Nissan e.dams driver beat the early morning time set by Guenther by just 0.013 seconds to head the majority of the three-hour session.

However, a flurry of quick laps at the end of the day saw first Jean-Eric Vergne, Mitch Evans, Guenther and Antonio Felix da Costa improve.

Guenther placed second just 0.093 seconds behind Bird, while new DS Techeetah driver da Costa took third in the afternoon session.

Evans, Vergne and Buemi filled out the top six, with Buemi’s Nissan teammate Oliver Rowland in seventh position.

Guenther topped the three-hour morning session after completing a pace setting lap of 1:15.926 in his BMW iFE.20.

This session saw several red flags deployed with the first triggered by James Calado who tagged the chicane tire barrier and broke a wishbone on his Jaguar I-Type 4.

Nyck de Vries’ Mercedes triggered the second after he stopped on the circuit, before Neel Jani glanced the same tire wall as Calado toward the end of the morning session and slightly damaged the front left bodywork on his Porsche 99X Electric.

The incident required a change of chassis for Jani’s car and he sat out the entire afternoon session.

Jani finished that session in 19th, while teammate Andre Lotterer placed 12th in the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s first public outing.

De Vries, meanwhile, was only able to get out in the final moments of the afternoon session after his morning session-stopping technical issue was worked on throughout the final three hours running of the day.

RESULTS: Test Session 1
RESULTS: Test Session 2

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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