Formula E: Prost concludes Donington test on top; Andretti set for powertrain revert


Times didn’t fall but rain did to conclude the latest FIA Formula E Championship two-day test at Donington Park, the final preseason test before the 2015-’16 championship opens in Beijing on October 17.

Nicolas Prost of Renault e.dams topped the timesheets at a 1:30.513, which was a little more than half a second off Lucas di Grassi’s 1:29.920 set last week.

Sebastien Buemi made it a 1-2 for Renault e.dams with a best time of 1:30.801, with Jerome d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) and Bruno Senna (Mahindra Racing) also in the 1:30 segment. Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin completed the top five.

Notable beyond the top runners were the respective FIA Formula E testing debuts for ex-GP2 stars Robin Frijns and Stefano Coletti, the latter of whom is in the midst of a mid-week trip to Europe in-between the Pocono and Sonoma IndyCar races.

Frijns tested with Amlin Andretti Formula E, completing 21 laps, while Coletti banked 20 laps for Team Aguri.

Frijns and Simona de Silvestro’s 11 laps for Andretti – a combined 32 – were particular notable in what’s been a troubled preseason testing period.

Relief may come by way of a last-minute revert to its 2014-’15 powertrain, utilized in season one, to help increase reliability.

It sees the team shift from the ATEC-01, which uses a revised four-speed Hewland gearbox, back to the season one Spark SRT_01E, which has a McLaren electronics system and five-speed Hewland gearbox.

De Silvestro’s testing stint this summer has been her latest struggle in a career faced with obstacles, but where her resiliency often shines through.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.