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Aitken headlines rookie line-up in Valencia Formula E pre-season test

One-time Formula 1 race starter and current DTM driver Jack Aitken will lead the line-up of rookie drivers in next week’s Formula E pre-season test at Valencia.

Jack Aitken, Envision Racing

In a new rule announced ahead of the 2024 season, all Formula E teams are obligated to run a newcomer in each car for at least one session across three days of running on 24-27 October.

Most teams have opted for the same drivers they ran at the Berlin rookie test and/or the Rome rookie practice session, with Aitken also reprising his role at last year’s championship-winning Envision team.

The 28-year-old Cadillac factory driver in the IMSA SportsCar Championship will drive Robin Frijns’ Jaguar I-TYPE 6 on Wednesday morning, before taking over Sebastien Buemi’s car for the afternoon session on the same day.

Following the test, Aitken will head to Hockenheim to complete his full-season in the DTM with the Emil Frey Ferrari team.

Another familiar name to return to Formula E at Valencia will be Robin Shwartzman, the Ferrari F1 reserve once again testing for DS Penske after getting his first outing with the team in Berlin.

Last year's DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde will again serve as Jaguar’s designated rookie driver, the BMW factory driver getting turns in both Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy's cars, with Red Bull junior Zane Maloney serving the same role at Andretti.

Nissan will test two different drivers in Valencia, with Formula 2 stalwart Luca Ghiotto replacing Oliver Rowland and current F2 racer Victor Martins driving in place of Sacha Fenestraz in the first morning session on Tuesday. 

Both of them got their first FE outings with the Japanese manufacturer in Berlin, with Ghiotto making a second appearance behind the wheel of the Nissan e-4ORCE 04 in Rome.

Sheldon van der Linde, Jaguar TCS Racing

Sheldon van der Linde, Jaguar TCS Racing

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Two-time World Touring Car Cup champion Yann Ehrlacher, who made his FE debut in Rome rookie practice for DS Penske, will switch to Maserati for the Valencia test.

Ehrlacher will only get one session in Maximilian Gunther’s car on 25 October, with the team’s second entry to be driven across all six sessions by new recruit Jehan Daruvala, who fulfills FE’s rookie criteria.

While most of the rookies at Valencia won’t be completely new to Formula E, some will get their first taste of Gen3 machinery, including McLaren’s Taylor Barnard.

Barnard, who scored his maiden F3 win at Spa in July en route to tenth in the championship, will kick off proceedings for McLaren in the opening morning on 24 October by driving Sam Bird’s car.

He will then switch to Jake Hughes’ Nissan-powered car in the afternoon, before McLaren turns its full attention to race drivers from Day 2.

Gabriela Jilkova, who has experience in both LMP3 and GT4 machinery, will be present for Porsche in the now-traditional Valencia test, as announced on Tuesday.

Hyundai's 2022 WTCR champion Mikel Azcona (NIO 333), the 2022 FIA ETCR champion Adrien Tambay and 18-year-old FRECA racer Tim Tramnitz ( both Abt) and former IndyCar driver Jordan King (Mahindra) will complete the rookie field.

Valencia rookie drivers:

Team Powertrain Driver(s)
Envision Jaguar

Jack Aitken (both cars)

Jaguar Jaguar

Sheldon van der Linde (both cars)

Andretti Porsche

Zane Maloney (both cars)

Porsche Porsche

Gabriela Jílkova (both cars)

DS Penske Stellantis

Robert Shwartzman (both cars)

Maserati Stellantis

Yann Ehrlacher (Gunther's car)

Jehan Daruvala (full-season driver)

Nissan

Nissan

Luca Ghiotto (Rowland's car)
Victor Martins (Fenestraz's car)

McLaren Nissan

Taylor Barnard (both cars)

NIO 333 NIO 333

Mikel Azcona (Both cars)

Mahindra Mahindra

Jordan King (both cars)

Abt Mahindra

Adrien Tambay (Di Grassi's car)

Tim Tramnitz (Muller's car)

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