In September, the joint venture team of Spark-Renault showed us its all-electric Formula racer, the SRT_01E, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This week the team let the electric racer out on track to the east of Paris, as part of its testing before racing begins in 2014.
For test purposes, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E was powered by a 50 kW electric motor, instead of the 200 kW (270 hp) powerplant the car will use during actual racing. Thrown about for 40 laps by Formula 1 driver Lucas di Grassi, the car received preliminary systems checks over a two-day period at the La Ferté Gaucher track just outside Paris. Teams such as McLaren have been working on their own e-racer since 2012 in preparation for the upcoming season.
“It is a great feeling to be driving the Formula E car for the first time,” noted Di Grassi. “I can assure 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."
"We’ve been able to check that all the electronic and electric systems are matching as planned, without any major interference," adds Pierre Calippe of Renault Sport Technologies. "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!”
Spark-Renault’s SRT_01E will make its Formula E debut against 19 other teams when the season starts up in Beijing next September.