DS PERFORMANCE FOLLOWS UP CHINA WIN WITH ACTIVE PREPARATIONS FOR 2019/2020 FORMULA E CAMPAIGN
With the podium festivities barely over in China after DS TECHEETAH’s first victory with the DS E-TENSE FE19 and Jean-Éric Vergne, DS Performance’s technical squad has been busy putting the finishing touches to the first of the powertrain evolutions it is preparing for the 2019/2020 FIA Formula E Championship.
Since the all-electric racing series was opened up to constructors, DS Performance’s E-TENSE technology has notched up wins across the globe in the four season’s it’s been active in the series. Following the introduction of new-generation Gen2 cars for Season 5, DS has as the only French constructor involved in the series, reasserted its status as one of the front-running operations.
The 2018/2019 season has turned out to be exceptionally competitive, with six drivers and as many different teams claiming the first six of the championship’s 12 rounds. Halfway into the campaign, DS TECHEETAH has emerged just two points shy of the top spot in the Teams’ standings, while defending champion Jean-Éric Vergne is third in the current Drivers’ order.
The fierce competition has made ongoing development of the innovative technology showcased by the series absolutely essential. Since the current 250-kilowatt E-TENSE powertrain was designed from scratch at DS Performance’s base in Versailles, near Paris, France, the team’s engineers have learnt a great deal, both during pre-season testing and at all the races contested to date, with improvements to the technology introduced each time.
At the same time, DS Performance has been finalising the specification of its Season 6 contender. “The same regulations will apply in 2019/2020, so we will be able to continue racing the DS E-TENSE FE19 next season,” says Thomas Chevaucher, Technical Manager, DS Performance. “However, given the pace at which the technology is evolving, not to mention the ferociousness of the competition, we are obliged to keep moving forward if we want to maintain our edge. For some weeks now, we have been carrying out evaluation work in our design office and on the simulator. A shortlist of options has been tested on the bench and we are close to finalising the technical specification of our 2019/2020 car which is scheduled to run for the first time in June. Until then, our work will continue to focus on the materials we employ and on optimisation of the motor’s components, the inverter and the transmission system.”
“Our powertrain and the DS E-TENSE FE19 have been very competitive since the start of Season 5,” adds Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, Director, DS Performance. “We opted to use avant-garde technology and we are making progress every time we race. Building the team after DS and TECHEETAH joined forces took a little time but our association reaped the benefits of this groundwork with a strategic win in China. Everyone in the team has done a remarkable job and our focus is now firmly on the future. Not only do we have high hopes for the rest of this season but DS Performance is also in the process of developing our technical package for next season.”
The new parts will be tested on April 2 and April 4 at Circuit Calafat near Tarragona, Spain, with Jean-Éric Vergne and André Lotterer at the wheel. Following changes introduced since last year by certain Formula E constructors, including DS Performance, Calafat is now one of the best venues for development testing, especially after the incorporation of a chicane and a hairpin with Formula E-style rubbing strips.