British racer Oliver Turvey secured his and the NIO team’s first points finish of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season in baking hot Chile on Saturday, 26th January, during an action packed Antofagasta Minerals Santiago e-Prix.
Starting round three of Season 5 from P19 on the grid after a challenging qualifying session, Turvey delivered a strong performance at the wheel of his NIO 004 and through a true race of attrition he climbed through the order well to take the chequered flag in 11th position.
Post-race, though, penalties for a number of rivals elevated Turvey into the top eight, the best finish of the 2018/2019 season so far for NIO and a great result to try and build on for the next round in Mexico City in February.
Team-mate Tom Dillmann, meanwhile, didn’t enjoy such a rewarding weekend at the Parque O’Higgins when a loss of power early on was then followed by contact from another car which triggered a frustrating retirement 15 minutes into the race. Dillmann wasn’t alone though with the non-finish, no fewer than eight cars retired in the searing hot conditions.
Oliver Turvey, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“After a disappointing qualifying we had a really strong race in the end. We manged it well and got the most out of it. I was able to make some good overtaking moves at the right time to move forward and make the most of the opportunities that presented themselves. To finish P8 was a good result from where we started and to get the first points for the team is a great way to finish the day.”
Tom Dillmann, Race Driver, NIO Formula E Team:
“Not a smooth day again unfortunately. We had some issues in practice so I was unable to prepare my qualifying as I would have liked, and this put us on the backfoot. I had a good start but the car stopped during the first lap and by the time I was able to get going again we were a lap down, and there was some contact. We always work hard before the race and when these things happen it is very frustrating. It is a shame that I was not able to fight for some points for the team today but we will try again next time.”
Gérry Hughes, Team Principal, NIO Formula E Team:
“It has been a somewhat emotional rollercoaster of a day here in Santiago, but for Oliver to finish the race in P8 we at least leave South America with some points to show for everyone’s hard work and determination – both here and back at the factory.
Clearly, we will have to understand what happened to Tom’s car on the opening lap of the race and whilst that was not the direct cause of his retirement, we decided to box the car due to damage he sustained after being hit by another car on lap one. With our Season 5 campaign now underway, we have an immense amount of work still left to do to close the gap to our rivals but we will continue to focus forward and prepare for the challenges ahead.”
Formula E will remain in South America for the fourth race of Season 5, the CBMM Niobium Mexico City e-Prix, which takes place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez street circuit in Mexico City on Saturday, 16th February.
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