The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team heads to season-opener in Diriyah confident

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team heads to season-opener in Diriyah confident

22.02.2021: Diriyah E-Prix, Rounds 1 and 2 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship enjoys a novel start to the new season: In Diriyah (Saudi Arabia), two night races will be contested on 26/27 February for the first

Diriyah E-Prix, Rounds 1 and 2 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship enjoys a novel start to the new season: In Diriyah (Saudi Arabia), two night races will be contested on 26/27 February for the first time in the history of the innovative electric racing series. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team travels to the season-opening doubleheader event with fond memories.

In November 2019, the squad celebrated a successful Formula E debut on the street circuit not far from Riyadh, with André Lotterer scoring second place with the Porsche 99X Electric. His new teammate, Pascal Wehrlein, contests his maiden race as a Porsche works driver in Diriyah.

The Formula E season was originally scheduled to start in Santiago de Chile in January, however it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and relocated to Saudi Arabia.

Porsche tackles its second season with a very clear commitment to Formula E. The sports car manufacturer uses the fully electric single-seater sport for systematic development work and to expand its expertise in the field of battery-electric drives. After the successful debut season of the Porsche 99X Electric, the engineers at Weissach have made extensive improvements to the powertrain.

The team has also been restructured: Martin Füchtner takes over the role of Technical Project Leader Formula E. Malte Huneke, who held this position since the launch of the Porsche Formula E programme, is now responsible for the overall vehicle development of all Porsche Motorsport racing vehicles.

With twelve teams and 24 drivers, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship boasts another strong line-up in season 7. Ten automobile manufacturers are represented – more than in any other international motor racing series.

The racetrack

The Diriyah E-Prix is contested on a 2.494-kilometre street circuit featuring 21 corners, which runs past old fortifications and traditional houses made of clay.

“It’s a real driver’s track, very demanding,” says André Lotterer, who is particularly pleased that there are not as many 90-degree bends and hairpins as there are on most other Formula E circuits. “In the first 14 corners you go only left, right, uphill, downhill, fast, slow. As a driver, you don’t have the time to check your energy use. Only after turn 14 can you look at the steering wheel.” And the main issues?

“The difficulty is to set up your car so that it runs well in different situations. It’s also tricky to find a good rhythm. And the wind blows sand from the desert onto the track, which can make it very slippery.”

The Porsche 99X Electric

Campaigning the Porsche 99X Electric, Porsche returned to open-wheel single-seater racing after more then 30 years and celebrated a successful debut scoring second place at the season-opener in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah. The fully-electric racing car sporting the Weissach-developed Porsche E Performance Powertrain also serves as a development platform for the sports car manufacturer’s fully-electric production models.

Hence, the 800-Volt technology which Porsche utilises in Formula E is also found in the Taycan as the first fully-electric production sports car from Porsche. Energy management and efficiency are important factors of success in Formula E and in the development of production cars.

The 99X Electric has a maximum output of 250 kW (340 hp) in qualification mode and 200 kW (270 hp) in normal race mode. Attack Mode boosts the output to 235 kW (320 hp), with Fanboost increasing the performance to 250 kW (340 hp). Maximum recuperation is 250 kW; the usable battery capacity is 52 Kilowatt hours.

2021 races*

Eight races make up the provisional calendar of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for the first half of 2021.

Race 1 – 26th February: Diriyah (Saudi Arabia)
Race 2 – 27th February: Diriyah (Saudi Arabia)
Race 3 – 10th April: Rome (Italy)
Race 4 – 24th April: Valencia (Spain)
Race 5 – 8th May: Monaco (Monaco)
Race 6 – 22nd May: Marrakesh (Morocco)
Race 7 – 5th June: Santiago de Chile (Chile)
Race 8 – 6th June: Santiago de Chile (Chile)

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will announce the remaining 2021 race dates in spring.

* Subject to changes

Viktoria Wohlrapp- photos Porsche

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