Rome E-Prix: Cassidy tops damp practice ahead of Guenther

Envision Virgin Racing driver Nick Cassidy set the pace in a greasy practice session ahead of the second Rome E-Prix as persistent drizzle led to a spate of mistakes.

Rome E-Prix: Cassidy tops damp practice ahead of Guenther

The Super GT and Super Formula champion topped the times with his 1m40.107s lap, set using the 250kW attack mode, to squeak clear of BMW Andretti racer Maximilian Guenther.

Kiwi Cassidy was handed a five-second time penalty and had two penalty points added to his race licence after he was adjudged to have caused a collision at Turn 7 with Jake Dennis during the Saturday event.

But he put in the graft early for the chilly 45-minute session to lead the way by 0.049s over Guenther. As conditions very gradually deteriorated and the times fell away, Cassidy would remain unmatched.

Out of a flurry of yellow flag incidents littered across the circuit in the EUR region of the Italian capital, Alex Lynn’s error was the most notable.

The Mahindra Racing driver lost the rear of his car under braking into the Turn 12 chicane. As he attempted to catch the slide, he then upset his line into the left-hander and nosed gently into the TecPro barrier at the apex.

Early pacesetter Stoffel Vandoorne was shuffled back to an eventual third in the fullness of time, running 0.555s adrift of Cassidy.

Vandoorne was wiped out of the first Rome race on Saturday when he hit a manhole cover and span into the wall while trying to avoid slowing race leader Lucas di Grassi.

The Mercedes racer also fell foul of the slippery circuit, his car upset over the crest into the braking zone for Turn 12.

He was subsequently forced to abort the chicane altogether and take to the escape road.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Dragon Penske Autosport driver Sergio Sette Camara ran to fourth quickest, a further 0.146s in arrears, but remains under investigation for power overuse.

The Brazilian was already penalised in the preceding day’s race. He earned an initial drivethrough for exceeding power limits.

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As he took to the pitlane, he tagged with Edoardo Mortara and Alexander Sims and was then given a five-second race time penalty for speeding under a full-course yellow.

Nissan e.dams driver Oliver Rowland led countryman Dennis to fifth as surprise Saturday race victor Jean-Eric Vergne ran to seventh place in the new DS Techeetah E-Tense FE21 machine.

Sebastien Buemi beat Edoardo Mortara and Andre Lotterer inside the top 10.

Rome E-Prix - FP3 results:

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 New Zealand Nick Cassidy United Kingdom Virgin Racing 19 1'40.107  
2 Germany Maximilian Gunther United States Andretti Autosport 19 1'40.156 0.049
3 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Germany Mercedes 17 1'40.662 0.555
4 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara United States Dragon Racing 17 1'40.808 0.701
5 United Kingdom Oliver Rowland France DAMS 18 1'40.962 0.855
6 United Kingdom Jake Dennis United States Andretti Autosport 16 1'40.985 0.878
7 France Jean-Eric Vergne China Techeetah 18 1'41.029 0.922
8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi France DAMS 19 1'41.097 0.990
9 Switzerland Edoardo Mortara Monaco Venturi 19 1'41.165 1.058
10 Germany Andre Lotterer Germany Porsche Team 20 1'41.216 1.109
11 Switzerland Nico Müller United States Dragon Racing 18 1'41.310 1.203
12 Netherlands Robin Frijns United Kingdom Virgin Racing 15 1'41.341 1.234
13 United Kingdom Alex Lynn India Mahindra Racing 16 1'41.376 1.269
14 Germany Pascal Wehrlein Germany Porsche Team 20 1'41.418 1.311
15 United Kingdom Sam Bird United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 17 1'41.590 1.483
16 Brazil Lucas di Grassi Germany Team Abt 18 1'41.764 1.657
17 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa China Techeetah 21 1'41.883 1.776
18 Netherlands Nyck de Vries Germany Mercedes 18 1'42.005 1.898
19 France Norman Nato Monaco Venturi 20 1'42.206 2.099
20 Germany René Rast Germany Team Abt 16 1'42.211 2.104
21 United Kingdom Alexander Sims India Mahindra Racing 17 1'42.303 2.196
22 New Zealand Mitch Evans United Kingdom Jaguar Racing 19 1'42.428 2.321
23 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 17 1'42.464 2.357
24 United Kingdom Oliver Turvey United Kingdom NIO Formula E Team 18 1'45.221 5.114
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