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Formula E - Nick Cassidy fastest in Marrakesh rookie test

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Envision Virgin Racing driver tops impressive field of electric racing rookies

Just a day after the fifth round of the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship took place, the official rookie test saw a full line-up of fresh talent taking over the streets of Marrakesh, Morocco on 1 March. The one-day test started with a morning session from 10:00 to 13:00 and continued in the afternoon from 14:00 to 17:00.

Super GT Championship driver Nick Cassidy set the fastest time of the day by posting a 1m16.467s during the afternoon session. The only other driver achieving a lap time below 1m17s was Sergio Sette Camara (GEOX DRAGON). The Brazilian FIA Formula 2 Championship driver ended up second in the classification after lapping the circuit with an impressive 1m16.930s.

Filipe Albuquerque (DS TECHEETAH), who had set the fastest time coming into the final hour, was not able to match the two front runners and had to settle for third place once the chequered flag was waved. His team mate Nicolas Lapierre ended the day in fourth posting a 1m17.116s. The Frenchman had replaced James Rossiter at late notice, as the team’s regular test driver filled in for the unwell Jean-Eric Vergne during the first Free Practice session of the 2020 Marrakesh E-Prix and had therefore lost his rookie status.

American Kyle Kirkwood turned the wheel for the BMW i ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT team and left a good impression posting his fastest lap time of 1m17.272s, which resulted in him claiming fifth in the combined classification.

ROKiT Venturi Racing had confirmed the same rookie test line-up as in season 5. Arthur Leclerc – brother of Formula One driver Charles Leclerc – was again joined by Norman Nato. While the Monegasque finished his day in 19th place, the Frenchman was able to hold on to sixth position in his first outing with the Silver Arrow 01.

Separated by a gap of only 0.001s, Jake Hughes (Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team), who was recently confirmed for another season in the FIA Formula 3 Championship followed in seventh. Kirkwood’s team mate at BMW, DTM driver Lucas Auer, finished the day in eighth place.

The day’s running went relatively uninterrupted, with the only red flag being caused when Kelvin van der Linde (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler Formula E Team) spun his car in turn 12. Van der Linde had posted the fastest time in the first of the two three-hour sessions, but his morning benchmark was surpassed by a number of drivers in the afternoon leaving him in ninth position on the combined classification sheet.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing had lined-up Sacha Fenestraz, who last year won the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, alongside Jamie Chadwick. Fenestraz rounded out the top ten, while Chadwick, who returned to Formula E testing as winner of the inaugural W Series ended the day in 13th.