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New York City Friday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Friday notebook on the eve of New York City E-Prix double header….

Photo: John Dagys

***E-racing365 has learned that the manufacturer testing deadline for this year has been extended by a month. The surprise move was communicated to teams earlier this week and will now see the allocated 15 days of testing be allowed up to and including Oct. 31.

***The deadline will go beyond the Formula E Holdings Ltd-organized Valencia test, which is scheduled for Oct. 15-18.

***The decision on whether or not a Marrakesh E-Prix will take place in the TBC slot in December is expected to be confirmed next week at a Formula E board meeting. It’s anticipated that if Marrakech is not agreed as a venue then the slot will be voided and the second round of Season Six will take place in Santiago in January.

***Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio says that the Brooklyn street circuit has evolved in several areas ahead of its third appearance on the Formula E calendar this weekend. “There are some asphalt repairs that are very noticeable to the track and as we have seen the hairpin is more generous for possible overtaking so it’s looking good,” he told e-racing365.

***Jose-Maria Lopez is set to undertake his final races for GEOX Dragon this weekend. The Argentinian’s manager Nicolas Todt is currently trying to find another berth as Lopez’s deal with the American team comes to an end with little chance of him remaining for a third consecutive season.

***Lopez is thought highly unlikely to replace Andre Lotterer at DS Techeetah should the German be confirmed as Neel Jani’s teammate in the coming weeks. Lopez drove for the DS Virgin team for a single season in 2016-17.

***Tom Dillmann has been disappointed over the lack of being able to score points this season in the NIO Sport 004. “The only chances for [points] has been in some of the crazy races but on pace there has not been much to do so it’s been frustrating yes,” Dillmann told e-racing365. “We have learned a great deal and we are already testing the Season Six powertrain so we are working hard for things to get better.”

***Several Porsche Formula E team members were on site in New York City on Friday. Among them were team principal Malte Huneke, driver Neel Jani and engineer Kyle-Wilson Clarke. Additionally, Porsche’s director of GT factory motorsports Pascal Zurlinden and Head of Porsche Motorsport Fritz Enzinger are also present this weekend.

***Some drivers are likely to use just one complete set of tires during individual race days according to Michelin. Several drivers have completed this strategy in previous races so far this season. “Given what we have seen so far this season, we aren’t unduly concerned about tire wear,” said Michelin’s Serge Grisin.

***Bryan Sellers says that winning the inaugural Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY would be one of the great achievements in his career so far. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver sits just six points from championship leader Sergio Jimenez with the two New York races remaining.

“There is no question, you know for multiple reasons,” Sellers told e-racing365. “One to be sure of was that it would have been as part of Bobby Rahal’s program. That definitely carries a lot of weight in how important this is.”

***Jimenez led the way in Free Practice on Friday, reeling off a quick time of 1:29.077 in his Jaguar Brazil Racing entry. He was 0.232 seconds quicker than Sellers, who ended the session second quickest. Click Here for the results. A total of 11 cars are set for this weekend’s races following the withdrawal of TWR Techeetah’s entry.

***I-PACE eTROPHY series director Marion Barnaby told e-racing365 they are targeting up to 17 full-season entries next season, with the ten-round calendar set to be released in the coming weeks.

***Mahindra announced a new official partner in New York City today. Software company Green Hills will work with the Indian team to develop strategically important in-vehicle electronics systems.

***Envision Virgin Racing hosted a special Innovation Summit to discuss how technology and sustainable engineering can assist climate change challenges. Michael Mann, a distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science was joined by Envision Virgin Racing’s Franz Jung and Mark Chambers a director of Sustainability at the New York City Mayors office.

“Envision is committed to developing a sustainable future through its advanced technologies of AIoT, smart wind turbines, smart storage and batteries,” said Jung, the Vice President of Smart Mobility at Envision Group & Chairman of the Board of Envision Virgin Racing. “As the majority owner of Envision Virgin Racing, Formula E is a perfect platform for Envision to demonstrate its brand identity, innovative technologies and vision of sustainability.”

***The second Modis Formula E Engineer of the Year will be chosen from a pre-nominated shortlist of eight team members ahead of Sunday evenings prize giving ceremony in New York. Techeetah’s Leo Thomas scooped the award last season, which celebrates team performance, innovation and team spirit.

***Robin Frijns is in the middle of a busy schedule with four back-to-back race weekends. Last week, he raced his Audi in the DTM season highlight at the Norisring and next week he will be back on DTM duty at Assen in The Netherlands, followed by the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

“It is pretty crazy at the moment,” Frijns told e-racing365. “I haven’t been at home for five weeks with all the racing and testing and simulator work in between. But I am not complaining, it is what I like and what I do. However, I don’t want to think about how high the grass is in my garden when I get back.”

***E-racing365 has learned that highly rated Australian driver Phoenix McEwan could be set to work with a Formula E team in the near future. McEwan was seen in the paddock talking to several teams today and is already believed to have sim-tested for a team recently.

***A delegation of staff from IMSA are getting their first taste of Formula E this weekend, in what sanctioning body president Scott Atherton described to e-racing365 last month as “purely just to see what it’s all about.” It’s understood the group is largely made up of the company’s marketing staff.

***IMSA has been exploring the possibility of launching an all-electric series that could encompass the soon-to-be-launched eTCR platform and an in-house ‘ePrototype’ that is understood to be under development to some degree.

***Multimatic is making a new damper available to Formula E teams for next season. The multinational vehicle dynamic technology firm is on site in New York City with long-time employee Jean Marcioni holding several meetings with teams regarding its Formula E specific fully five-way adjustable damper.

***Several profit warnings have been sounded in the Chinese EV industry in recent weeks. Some of the biggest manufacturers such as Geely, Great Wall Motors, Guangzhou Automobile Group and Dongfeng Motor Group have seen profits decrease.

***Well-known UK comedian and actor Jack Whitehall will be a guest of Jaguar this weekend. Whitehall is set to experience a lap in a Jaguar I-PACE.

John Dagys and Rene de Boer contributed to this report

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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