CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Nissan Formula E Team took its first pole of Season 9 at the Cape Town E-Prix, with Sacha Fenestraz putting in a lightning performance in qualifying, topping Group A before winning all three of his Duels and picking up three points.
In the process, the Franco-Argentine driver set the fastest lap in Formula E history, with an average speed of 154.987km/h in the final Duel. Fenestraz got a strong start in the race, leading off the line and fighting for the podium positions throughout the event. However, while running third on the final lap, a risky move by another driver resulted in contact, with Fenestraz sent spinning into the wall and out of the race.
Meanwhile, Norman Nato showed positive signs again following his points finish in Hyderabad last time out. Starting ninth, the Frenchman battled hard in a closely-fought race, eventually crossing the line in eighth.
“For the second race in a row the whole team did a brilliant job,” said Tommaso Volpe, managing director and team principal, Nissan Formula E Team. “It’s frustrating as Sacha has been denied a podium due to contact again. Pole position was a great feeling, we knew it was possible but it’s up to us to put everything together, which we did. Sacha drove several amazing laps and deservedly clinched pole. He was unfortunate during the race, with the unlucky timing of the second Full Course Yellow as he was taking Attack Mode dropping him down to fourth. He did well to get back up into third before contact from another driver on the last lap sent him into the wall, which is frustrating because he was on for a lot of points. Norman did a good job today, he had some traffic in qualifying but put in a good performance to finish in the top-10 for a second race in a row. Now we’re looking forward to a small break after four events in quick succession, and we’ll look at what we can improve ahead of Sao Paulo. We haven’t had the results our pace has deserved, but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”
“Overall we had a really strong weekend, we were quick in every session. To take pole position was amazing, I have to thank the team for their hard work. They’ve been pushing day and night since the start of the season. It was a great moment so hopefully we can continue to show this level of performance. In the race we were doing well, a bit unlucky with the timing of the second Full Course Yellow, but I managed to get back up to third before the contact took us out of the race on the final lap. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but we know we are quick and have the car to compete at the front for the rest of the season.”
“We showed some really positive signs this weekend and our pace is clear to see. In qualifying I got caught up in some traffic, which cost us a bit of time on my best lap, but we had a good race and I’m happy to score points for the second weekend in a row. Today the pace of the car wasn’t quite as quick as in previous weeks, but we still managed to finish in the top-10 for the second race in a row, which shows the progress we’ve made as a team. Time for a short break before we move on to Sao Paulo and hopefully capitalise on our pace there.”
That first pole feeling! ⚡🤯⚡
The #FeelElectricMoment for the Cape Town E-Prix has to be @sachafenestraz setting the fastest ever @FIAFormulaE lap in the qualifying duels 💪@Nissan #NissanFormulaE #CapeTownEPrix pic.twitter.com/YYMilxpwqT— Nissan NISMO (@NISMO) February 27, 2023
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About Nissan in Formula E
Nissan made its all-electric racing debut in Season 5 (2018/19) of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, becoming the first and only Japanese manufacturer to enter the series.
In Season 7 (2020/21), Nissan announced its long-term involvement in Formula E and its commitment to the Gen3 era, which will run from Season 9 (2022/23) through to the end of Season 12 (2025/26) of the all-electric racing series.
In April 2022, Nissan acquired the e.dams race team, with the Japanese automaker taking full ownership of its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
In June 2022, Nissan announced it would supply its Nissan EV powertrain technology to McLaren Racing for the entirety of the Formula E Gen3 era.
For Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the Nissan Formula E drivers will be Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz.
Nissan races in Formula E to bring the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric vehicles to a global audience. As part of its goal to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050, Nissan intends to electrify every all-new vehicle offering by the early 2030s in key markets. The Japanese automaker aims to bring its expertise in transferring knowledge and technology between the racetrack and road for better electric vehicles for customers.
About Formula E
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship became the first global sport to be certified with a net zero carbon footprint from inception back in 2020, having invested in certified climate-protecting projects in all race markets to offset emissions from every season of electric racing.
All cars in the championship are powered by electricity, with the series acting as a competitive platform to test and develop the latest in electric technology.
The World’s greatest manufacturers race against each other on street circuits and Formula E promotes the adoption of sustainable mobility in city centres in a bid to combat air pollution and lessen the effects of climate change.
Maria De Juana
Head of Communications, Formula E, Nissan Motor Co.
Phone: +33-6 17 36 37 61
Nissan Global Newsroom