BUENOS AIRES – Sam Bird enjoyed an early edge in practice for the Buenos Aires ePrix after topping the timesheets in the first session at the Puerto Madero street circuit.
Bird posted a latest time of 1:09.913 to finish three-tenths of a second clear of Daniel Abt as just four drivers managed to put in a full power lap at 200kW.
Bird and Abt were joined by the NEXTEV TCR duo of Nelson Piquet Jr. and Oliver Turvey in completing a qualifying simulation lap, who finished in third and fourth place respectively.
Andretti driver Simona de Silvestro suffered an early setback when she hit the wall at pit exit with the back-end of her car, taking off the left-rear corner and losing the rear wing. De Silvestro admitted to her engineer upon returning to the pits that it was her own mistake, but the team was now left to begin the quite significant repair job.
DS Virgin Racing driver Jean-Eric Vergne missed opening practice after coming down with food poisoning, and will take not part in the race weekend as a result.
Lucas di Grassi also had a brief scare in his ABT Schaeffler car, but was able to reset and get back going again after grinding to a halt towards the end of the session. Robin Frijns was not so fortunate in the second Andretti car as his session came to an early end when he stopped on track.
Sebastien Buemi had set the pace early on for Renault e.dams, and managed to finish within one second of Bird at the top despite only completing a lap at 170kW. His lap was good enough to finish P5 ahead of perennial rival di Grassi in sixth.