It’s hard to image that Formula E is in its 4th season. New players are in and those from the get-go are still battling it out. And speaking of new players, DS Virgin Racing is unveiling its Formula E season 4 challenger.
DS Virgin Racing unveiled its brand new DSV-03 on the heels of the anniversary of its maiden victory. Short of the obvious different color scheme, what is interesting is what lies under the cover. The DSV-03 has been further optimised to increase its performance and efficiency. And the real news is in the upgraded software system.
Sam Bird will continue to ride with the team and we couldn’t be happier. Sam is a pleasure to interview and talk to. So far, Sam has competed in all 33 of the team’s race starts. He secured 5 wins and 9 podiums for DS Virgin Racing and is now the 3rd highest Formula E points scorer. He is only 30.
His teammate is Alex Lynn, 24, who is starting his first full-time campaign after a great debut last season. He secured the pole position at his first attempt and became one of only two drivers to do so.
DS Virgin Racing’s DSV-03 Specs
This anniversary marks the day 3 years ago when the team won its first win at the Putrajaya E-Prix in 2014 with Sam Bird. Its last win was last year at the New York E-Prix.
So far, what we know of the new DS Virgin Racing DSV-03 specification is that it has been homologated by the FIA. It stands 5 meters in length (16.40″) with a width of 1.78m (5.83″) and a height of 0.99m (3.24″) on a 3.10m (4.17″) wheelbase. The DSV-03 weighs a minimum of 880 kg with driver, as is stipulated by the Formula E FIA rules.
What’s interesting here is that the battery weighs 320 kg (705.45 lb) with a 28 kWh capacity. Considering the race lasts 50 minutes with a swap pit stop, and that the battery pack has to last 25 minutes without being exhausted, something drivers have told us the cars must be driven with a lot of finesse.
The DSV-03 uses one rear electric motor that puts out 200 kW (271 ch), with its regenerative braking going up to 150 kW. The battery is 700V.
You might have heard about the decision to allow gearboxes as of season 2. This was a controversial move that ended up being far more interesting than originally thought. You could hear the direct drive of these gearboxes on some cars while others only had the typical higher pitch whine of the electric motor. The DSV-03 uses a 3-speed gearbox for season 4. It rides on Michelin Pilot Sport EV 2, 245x40R18 (AV), 305x40R18 (AR).
DS Virgin Racing & The DSV-03 — What’s Next?
According to DS Virgin Racing Team Principal Alex Tai: “As one of only three teams to have won in every season, for sure, our aim is to continue our winning ways into season four. We have two very strong drivers in Sam and Alex, a quick car, and a fantastic, experienced team, so we have all the elements needed to make a real impact in Hong Kong and beyond.”
Driver Sam Bird said: “It’s always difficult to predict what will happen ahead of a new season but for sure we’ve got a good package and we’re ready to come out fighting. We had a series of very strong results towards the end of last season, which gave us a solid platform to develop on over the summer so hopefully, this can translate into strong results.”
Team-mate Alex Lynn said: “I’m very excited heading into my first full Formula E season. It’s an amazing opportunity and one I can’t wait to grasp and showcase what I can do. Preparations have gone really well, from testing and simulator work through to fitness. With DS Virgin Racing, I know I have a great team behind me and a very experienced team-mate alongside me, so I can’t wait to go racing.”
DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “It’s great to start the season in such an iconic city as Hong Kong, and we’re looking forward to seeing the DSV-03 back on track. We achieved very positive pre-season testing results and this year, we will be able to start the season on the front foot, which is crucial when aiming for the win.”
Set your calendar for the 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship, as it begins in Hong Kong on December 2 and 3. As to the big scoop for this season, Renault is exiting while Nissan is in.