April 20th 2023, Calafat – On April 18th and 19th, QEV Technologies planned a private test in Circuit de Calafat for the drivers that wanted to test the ZEROID X1, the car which will be used in the FIA RX2e Championship in the upcoming 2023 season. Nils Andersson, Filip Thorén, Fabien Pailler and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky drove on the first test day, while Catie Munnings and Clément Picard drove on the second.
There were expectations among the drivers ahead of the first RX2e Test day. There were six drivers in this test, where only three of them, the swedes Nils Anderson and Filip Thorén, and the brit Catie Munnings had driven the ZEROID X1 in a previous season. In fact, it was the very first time that Fabien Pailler drove an electric car.
The test is distributed in eight runs a day each day where the drivers do four laps per run. After each one, they go back to the garages to recharge the car and analyze their video data from Vbox and to talk with the engineers about how they felt in the car and how to adjust it to their driving style and track conditions.
“Very fun to drive”
All of the drivers agreed that the car is “very fun to drive”, and enjoyed the test day and the chances of improvement it had given them. Fabien Pallier was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. The thing that impressed him the most “was the overall balance” and the fact than once you gained confidence with it “it gives you the confidence to push and to do better”. Clement Picard, who is also a first timer when it comes to driving an electric car, was blown away by the acceleration “at the first launch”, but also found it “very easy to drive”.
For Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky the main goal was to find a pace, the best line and to learn how to adapt to the car to get the maximum out of it. Also Catie Munnings was trying to get the maximum out of the car by trying different settings and training a different driving style, considering that “this track is very high grip and has very strong tarmac sections, with only a bit of gravel section” which she doesn’t usually drive on.
For Filip Thorén the main goal for this test was “to get comfortable with the car” and to improve his lap times before the first race. The Swede driver will compete, at least, at the two first races in the RX2e Championship.
Updates on the car…
Although some drivers had already driven the ZEROID X1, they had the chance to test it with the new upgrades that RX2e Championship will bring: the power has been increased from 250 kW to 270 kW and there will also be a boost mode that will give drivers 80 kW more power to increase overtaking chances and play with strategy.
According to Nils Andersson, these will probably be the biggest changes for the upcoming season, although he thinks “it’s hard to feel [the changes] on this track with high grip” and “how much change is going to be” will be best perceived in the first round in Hell.
…and on the racing format
But the car is not the only thing which changed for this upcoming season. The format of the race weekend has also been updated. As of this season, each competition will comprise three Practice Sessions, a Qualifying Session, four Heats, two Semi-finals and one Final. Nils Andersson celebrates taking away “the lottery of the Q1” and thinks these changes “will increase competition and limit stupid start crashes without any direct reason, so it will be more fair and closer racing between the drivers”. Overall, a better experience “for the drivers and the fans”.
The new RX2e season will start at Hell, Norway on June 17th-18th, and the following rounds will be in Höljes in Sweden (July 1st-2nd), Lydden Hill in UK (July 22nd-23rd) and Mettet in Belgium (August 5th-6th) before concluding at Estering in Germany in mid-August (19th-20th).
“It was amazing!”
These tests have also allowed Quentin Dall’Olmo, who is a simracer, to enjoy the drive of the car around the Circuit for some runs, a prize he earnt after winning the DiRT World Champion RX Esport Series in 2021, but he couldn’t enjoy the prize just until now due to pandemic. Being the first time he drove an electric car, Dall’Olmo felt quite impressed by the acceleration of the ZEROID X1 and stated that he “loved the sensation” and “felt so powerful”. Although he agrees that it was “very different from simracing”, Dall’Olmo pointed that it helped him to “develop some skills” that turned out to be useful to drive this car.