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  • Ahmed Saleh

Porsche begins 2024 Formula E Championship preparations with Valencia test

Porsche has kickstarted its journey towards the 2024 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with an official test in Valencia. The testing involved Porsche works drivers Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa, along with the Andretti Formula E drivers Jake Dennis and Norman Nato, who are part of Porsche's customer team. They conducted an extensive test program at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo using the Porsche 99X Electric race car.

This preparation sets the stage for the upcoming season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the opening round scheduled in Mexico on January 13, 2024. During the Valencia tests, Pascal Wehrlein covered 767 kilometers, while António Félix da Costa managed 698 kilometers in the Porsche 99X Electric.

Additionally, Porsche's customer team, Andretti Formula E, was also present at the Valencia tests with two Porsche 99X Electric vehicles. Reigning world champion Jake Dennis drove for 758 kilometers, while the team's newcomer, Norman Nato, completed 752 kilometers. This marks the second Formula E season in which Porsche and the Andretti racing team collaborate.

However, the testing faced a brief disruption due to a battery fire incident in the garage of the supplier responsible for the standard batteries used in Formula E. After a thorough investigation, the FIA permitted the tests to resume on Thursday afternoon.

Moreover, the rookie driver, Gabriela Jílková, had a successful trackside debut in the Porsche 99X Electric, covering 43 laps (152 kilometers) during the Thursday afternoon session. Gabriela Jílková is known for her simulator work supporting the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team in Weissach.

Comments after the test sessions

Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “In Valencia, we focussed on preparing for the racing season with our drivers Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa as well as Jake Dennis and Norman Nato from our Andretti Formula E customer team. Despite the incident in the paddock, we made very good use of the available test time with our four Porsche 99X Electric vehicles and systematically ticked off our to-do list. We are very pleased with the results. During the race simulation, which also went well, we managed to get a first impression of how it is to compete with a pit stop. After this test, we’ll travel to the season opener in Mexico well prepared. Despite the reduced time in Valencia, we decided to go ahead with a rookie session and give Gabriela the opportunity to drive the Porsche 99X Electric on the racetrack for the first time. She got a good idea of how the car feels compared to the simulator where she’d supported us.” Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “That was a very helpful week that ended well. After the incident on Tuesday, we didn’t know whether we’d still be able to drive. We learned a lot from last year and our pace was good. Valencia is not a typical Formula E track, so it’s always difficult to gauge how relevant this test ultimately is. However, given that there are more and more circuits like this on the calendar, we needed to be competitive here. We completed our schedule and the test race also went well for us. Still, we have a lot to do before the start of the season.” António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13): “Our tests were very positive. We’re considerably stronger than in last year’s tests and we’ve made huge progress. That’s a great sign. We also learned a lot in Valencia. We’ll now implement this by the start of the new season so that we can arrive in Mexico with a winning package.” Gabriela Jílková, Formula E rookie: “I’m very happy that I got the chance at this test to drive the Formula E car on the racetrack for the first time. The Porsche 99X Electric is truly a very special car. It was an incredibly fascinating experience for me to get a better understanding of the car lap by lap and to push to the limit.”

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