Evans leads opening Shanghai E-Prix practice

Mitch Evans was quickest in an incredibly tight opening practice session for the Shanghai E-Prix, which had the entire field separated by just over half a second, but also featured a lengthy stoppage.

The Jaguar TCS Racing driver’s best time of 1m13.215s was a mere 0.025s quicker than Andretti’s Norman Nato, with DS Penske driver Jean-Eric Vergne just 0.024s further back.

Jake Hughes made it four manufacturers in the top four in his Nissan-powered NEOM McLaren entry, with works Nissan driver Oliver Rowland completing the top five. Berlin E-Prix race 2 winner Antonio Felix da Costa was sixth, ahead of Dan Ticktum and Robin Frijns, with Pascal Wehrlein and Lucas di Grassi rounding out the top 10.


The session had only been running for five minutes when it was halted after five cars — both Porsches of da Costa and Wehrlein, the ERTs of Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara, and Nyck de Vries’ Mahindra — all came to a stop on track. The reason was a suspected battery issue caused by a software update from supplier WAE (formerly Williams Advanced Engineering) between the Berlin E-Prix two weeks ago and this event, although the exact cause is still being investigated.

Running resumed after nearly an hour’s pause, with all 22 cars receiving another software update in that time, and all able to complete the session. The cars that stopped were able to complete sizeable lap counts, too, with da Costa running 20 laps, Wehrelin and Sette Camara 19, Ticktum 18, and de Vries 17. Nato and Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns’ lap counts of 21 were session highs, while de Vries 17 was the lowest.

Evans’ best time came in the closing minutes of the session, which Sette Camara, one of the runners affected by the stoppage, finished in 22nd, albeit just 0.591s adrift of Evans.

All drivers competed their fastest times using the full complement of 350kW.


Story originally appeared on Racer