Formula E’s fully-electric Spark Renault SRT_01E made its successful track debut at a circuit near La Ferté Gaucher, 50 miles east of Paris, France.
In the hands of Lucas di Grassi, the electric racecar completed 40 laps during the two-day run. Renault said the objective of this first test was to perform an overall systems check.
“It is a great feeling to be driving the Formula E car for the first time,” said Di Grassi. “I can assure all the drivers they will have a lot of fun with this car – even with just a quarter of the power, it has quite a lot of grip and the electric motor produces huge torque.”
For the purpose of this initial test, the Spark-Renault was equipped with smaller battery, limiting the maximum power to 50 kilowatt instead of the 200 kilowatt (270 horsepower) peak power the car will produce in its final trim.
“It was a real pleasure for us and, to be honest, quite emotional, to run the Spark-Renault SRT-01E for the very first time,” said Pierre Calippe of Spark Renault. “We’ve been involved in the project for almost a year now, and these test days are an important step in our development schedule. We’ve been able to check that all the electronic and electric systems are matching as planned, without any major interference. The shift strategy is already working quite well and the battery, although not definitive, is responding okay. We still have plenty of work, but we are on a good trend: all the partners are really working together toward many innovations, and I think we can already say that the car will be very good, impressive to watch, listen to and, of course, drive!”
The SRT_01E has been designed and built by French based Spark Racing Technology together with a consortium of the leading manufacturers in motorsport, and will compete in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship – the world’s first global electric race series beginning in September 2014.
The chassis has been designed by Dallara, with McLaren Electronics Systems providing the electric motor, gearbox and electronics, Williams Advanced Engineering the batteries, Renault the overall systems integration and Michelin the tires.