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Reigning FE champion Da Costa tops second morning of pre-season test

Defending Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa kicked off the second day of pre-season testing in Valencia by topping the morning session over Maximilian Guenther

For the opening three-hour stint, which precedes a practice race on Sunday afternoon, teams frequently ran their cars in formation to create a slipstream.

This tactic was used extensively by teams' title-winner DS Techeetah in qualifying during the six-race Berlin final last year and again on the first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Da Costa used this and set an impressive lap using the fanboost mode to lead the order with his 1min11.948sec benchmark, achieved in the final minutes of the session.

He was the only driver to break under the 1m12 barrier, setting a new championship lap record at the track - although for 2020 the main straight chicane has been removed.

A tenth of a second further back, Guenther climbed to second place for BMW Andretti in the dying moments at the expense of the Nissan e.dams of Oliver Rowland.

Rowland, who will start the 2020-21 campaign with the same powertrain as last season, ran with the 35kW boost of attack mode to keep the second DS Techeetah at bay.

Double champion Jean-Eric Vergne ended the session fourth fastest, running 0.236s shy of his team-mate da Costa.

The session was only halted once, as a red flag was deployed with 45 minutes to go - thought to be required for an issue with the outside kerbs on the entry into the Turn 6 left-hander.

On the approach to the corner a few laps prior, new BMW Andretti driver Jake Dennis ran wide over the gravel but managed to correct the slide and rejoin the circuit.

The customer Envision Virgin Racing machine of Robin Frijns was the fastest Audi-propelled car in fifth, with the manufacturer's factory driver Lucas di Grassi ranking sixth.

The second Nissan e.dams of Sebastien Buemi headed Mahindra's Alex Lynn, Dennis and Mercedes racer Stoffel Vandoorne to complete the top 10.

In a quiet session, the Venturi Racing duo of Edoardo Mortara and Norman Nato were both cautioned for track limits offences, while Vergne received a black-and-white flag for crossing the pit exit lane.

Test times day 2 - morning

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Antonio Felix da Costa DS Techeetah DS 1m11.948s 47
2 Maximilian Guenther BMW BMW 0.101s 44
3 Oliver Rowland Nissan e.Dams Nissan 0.213s 34
4 Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah DS 0.236s 53
5 Robin Frijns Virgin Audi 0.390s 47
6 Lucas di Grassi Audi Audi 0.390s 43
7 Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.Dams Nissan 0.402s 34
8 Alex Lynn Mahindra Mahindra 0.406s 54
9 Jake Dennis BMW BMW 0.410s 49
10 Stoffel Vandoorne Mercedes Mercedes 0.428s 47
11 Rene Rast Audi Audi 0.473s 49
12 Andre Lotterer Porsche Porsche 0.474s 48
13 Alexander Sims Mahindra Mahindra 0.484s 53
14 Nyck de Vries Mercedes Mercedes 0.533s 44
15 Sam Bird Jaguar Jaguar 0.550s 35
16 Nick Cassidy Virgin Audi 0.567s 45
17 Tom Blomqvist NIO NIO 0.573s 47
18 Oliver Turvey NIO NIO 0.616s 46
19 Nico Muller Dragon Penske 0.618s 39
20 Pascal Wehrlein Porsche Porsche 0.686s 49
21 Sergio Sette Camara Dragon Penske 0.692s 36
22 Mitch Evans Jaguar Jaguar 0.725s 42
23 Norman Nato Venturi Mercedes 0.931s 55
24 Edoardo Mortara Venturi Mercedes 1.052s 54

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