The NextEV still has strong pace over one lap but discernible progress is evident in their race energy management
The day started well as both drivers made it into the Super Pole shootout, qualifying fourth and fifth fastest.
Oliver Turvey managed to move up into third place after a canny move on Lucas di Grassi under breaking for the turn four left-hander, though started to struggle with energy management compare to those around him and pitted a lap earlier than the rest of the field.
Thermal issues with his second car prevented him from fighting his way back through the field and he finished in ninth place.
“It was great to get both cars to Super Pole and it was a shame I had a lock up as I think we could have been battling for pole,” said Turvey after the race.
“In the race I made a good start and felt good in the first part of the stint. When we made the pitstop it felt smooth, but when I came out I had lost three positions so we need to understand what happened there. We struggled in the second stint with some thermal issues due to the high humidity.
“We have to take the positives from the weekend; getting to Super Pole, having a car that we can fight for pole with and running in P3 in the first half of the race is a good place to be. We just need to keep learning and moving forwards for the next race.”
Teammate Nelson Piquet started to lose ground to the leaders in the early part of the race, and lost fifth place to Nico Prost. However he was able to jump Turvey during the pitstops and was back in fifth, a position he maintained until the chequered flag.
“Our goal this weekend was to have a clean race,” said Piquet after the race.
“We were able to have a bit of a battle here and there but in these kind of races you have to judge what is worth fighting and what we need to do to manage the energy, so I worked to manage the race as best I could. In general it was a satisfactory race and we can take positives in that we are not far off the leaders, which is good.”