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Rowland Tops Rome Early Morning Practice

Oliver Rowland goes leads the field in a dry FP1 on the streets of Rome…

Photo: Nissan

Oliver Rowland set the pace during the first practice session ahead of today’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship GEOX Rome E-Prix.

The Englishman produced a time of 1:29.738 on full power right at the end of the 45-minute Saturday morning run to put his Nissan e.dams IM01 on top.

Rowland, who claimed his maiden Formula E podium at the previous race in Sayna, placed 0.055 seconds ahead of reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne in the best of the DS Techeetah cars.

The pair was closely followed by Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi, who was the only other driver to turn a lap in the the 1-minute 29s.

Di Grassi’s time of 1:29.993 narrowly edged out Sam Bird’s 1:30.004 effort behind the wheel of the No. 2 Audi-powered Envision Virgin Racing machine.

Rowland’s teammate Sebastien Buemi rounded out the top five, ahead of championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa who placed seventh for BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

Mitch Evans slashed the perimeter wall on his way to setting the eleventh-best time for Panasonic Jaguar Racing, but no drivers had any major off-track drama beyond a couple of early lock-ups into turn 13.

A second free practice session is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. eastern).


Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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