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New York City Friday Notebook

Sam Smith’s Friday notebook from the New York City E-Prix….

Photo: John Dagys

***No major incidents were reported in Friday afternoon’s 30-minute Shakedown, other than Sebastien Buemi slapping the wall in his Renault Z.E 17. The Swiss driver managed to bring the car back to the pits with minimal damage.

***Former Red Bull and Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat is expected to make an appearance this weekend, with the Russian actively pursing a potential drive in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship next season. E-racing365 understands that the Ferrari F1 test driver is in negotiations with at least one team.

***It’s been revealed that the DS Virgin DSV-03, which makes its final start this weekend, is 13 kgs over the 880 kg minimum weight, according to Sam Bird. E-racing365 understands that the majority of cars have used ballast to attain minimum weight.

***Felix Rosenqvist’s future in Formula E has not yet been decided, with the Swede believed to be closing in on a full-season deal in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing. CGR, which has an option on Rosenqvist’s services, is rumored to be offering a program for 2019.

***Rosenqvist’s manager, Stefan Johansson, is neither at this weekend’s New York City E-Prix nor the Toronto IndyCar event, as the former McLaren and Ferrari F1 driver is taking part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

***E-racing365 understands that Virgin Racing will announce its new powertrain provider, believed to be Audi, within the next ten days. The British-based team, however, is unlikely to confirm its drivers until the build-up to the Valencia pre-season test in October.

***Mitch Evans said he had never previously been as disappointed in his racing career than after last month’s Zurich E-Prix. The Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver claimed the team’s first pole but was then penalized for speeding under a Full Course Yellow. “This race really got to me and it felt like a real missed opportunity,” Evans told e-racing365. “It was my fault, it all fell away and I was super frustrated. I needed some solid downtime after Zurich.”

***Newly appointed Venturi team principal Susie Wolff has revealed she came close to driving for the Monegasque team. Wolff said she was in discussions with the team to be Stephane Sarrazin’s teammate in the 2014-15 season.

***Venturi hosted a forum on sustainability at the United Nations on Thursday. Hosted by ex F1 race-winner David Coulthard, the panel was composed of Venturi’s Wolff, Felipe Massa, team owner Gildo Pastor, FIA President Jean Todt and Formula E CEO and Founder Alejandro Agag.

***The public formalization of the new DS-Techeetah alliance is set to be communicated before the end of the month. Vergne and Andre Lotterer are expected to remain with the team for a second season as teammates, with Vergne set to take part in a test with the new Gen 2 car in Spain on Wednesday.

*** Michelin’s Formula E program manager Serge Grisin doesn’t believe the longer track layout at the Red Hook circuit will cause any major issues for rubber. “Wear rates are likely to be relatively low,” he said. “It is more the Michelin Pilot Sport EV2’s longitudinal grip [traction] that promises to play the biggest role this weekend due to the repeated hard re-acceleration out of the tighter corners.”

***This weekend sees many ‘end of era’ moments for Formula E, with teams saying goodbye to the Spark SRT_01E. Although largely unloved by drivers, the first-gen car has proved to be durable withstanding curbs and abrasive street circuit incidents, notably Nick Heidfeld’s sizable accident at the inaugural race in Beijing in 2014.

***Williams Advanced Engineering is also bowing out of Formula E after supplying the first-gen battery. The company stepped in late after an original supplier hit difficulties in late 2013. The battery units have covered more than 240,000 miles, with a reliability rating of 99.5 percent.

***The British-based firm will now focus on supply of batteries to the FIA Electric World Rallycross Championship, which becomes all-electric in 2020.

***Renault will also enter its final Formula E race this weekend before its entry metamorphoses into Nissan. The French manufacturer has won three teams’ titles, 15 races, 11 pole positions and 32 podium positions since the championship’s debut in 2014.

***Several Formula E-inspired activities are happening at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. The Roborace car completed an autonomous run up the hill on Thursday, while the NIO EP9 electric Supecar also undertook several quick runs in the hands of sports car racing ace Peter Dumbreck.

***NIO has also announced a partnership with technology and data protection company Acronis. The Singapore/Swiss company will be hosting a data forum event tonight.

***Ex-Formula E driver Katherine Legge, who was named Friday as the first confirmed driver for the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, will again be on the trackside PA this weekend for the second consecutive year.

***A number of SCCA race officials, including former World Challenge chief steward Pat Di Natale, are assisting with race operations this weekend, as has been the case with previous Formula E races in New York, Long Beach and Miami.

***Formula E has confirmed the extension and expansion of its existing partnership with EA and the award-winning mobile racing game Real Racing 3, boasting over 400 million downloads and more than 1 million daily active users.

***Celebrities visiting the New York E-Prix this weekend will include actors Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, Mark Strong and Game of Thrones duo Rupert Friend and Natalie Dormer.

John Dagys 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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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