Audi looked set to bounce back at Marrakesh with Audi-powered cars filling the first three positions during the early stages of Free Practice One for round two of the 2018/19 ABB Championship at Marrakesh, but not before the BMW of Antonia Felix Da Costa split the Envision entries of Robin Frijns and Sam Bird.

 

 

Practice began in cold and dark conditions – so dark that lights on the roll-hoop resembled that of an Anglerfish stalking its prey. Given the track was a mere six degrees Celsius compared to the expected twenty degrees during the race, those teams focussing on the long game would be in the best shape.

 

Quite a few of lock-ups were apparent whilst teams attempted to dial-in their brake-by-wire systems; with quite a few teams experiencing overheating rears. Techeetah’s rear discs however were hardly visible in the dark, hinting that last year’s form team may have been focusing on regenerative braking.

 

Robin Frijns was first to come unstuck in a big way and his subsequent rotation was enough to force Sam Bird to take evasive action – the pair making very minor contact but both Envision Virgin Racing drivers were able to continue.

 

Opening practice was also an opportunity to test the Attack Mode which came under scrutiny at round one at Ad Diriyah.

 

In the opening minutes, Jean-Eric Vergne, Andre Lotter and Tom Dillman headed the order, with Pascal Wehrlein doing well in seventh on his race debut in the series. Whilst the Mahindra team had little running before the race at Ad Diriyah, team principal Dilbag Gill was confident that the data Mahindra had amassed last season would hold them in good stead.

 

Wehrlein’s session would come to a halt with thirteen minutes left in the session – the German pulling his Mahindra up on the back straight.

 

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