Ma tops Hong Kong Formula E shakedown
Ma Qing Hua topped the times in shakedown as the new FIA Formula E season kicked off on the streets of Hong Kong.
The Techeetah driver emerged as the surprise pacesetter posting a session best 1:08.66s at the newly constructed 1.8km circuit.
Ma ended the 30 minute session 0.4s clear of inaugural Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr. while Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was third.
“I am really happy to race here as a home race and as a great location to have the Formula E Championship here,” said Ma.
“I just did a track walk in the morning and the track is very exciting for the race and there are a couple of overtaking points. In the race there will be lots of changes and possibilities.”
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The sister Techeetah, sporting a new livery, of Jean-Eric Vergne backed up Ma’s pace in fourth just 0.8s adrift of the pace.
Nico Prost was fifth fastest despite causing a red flag when his Renault e.dams entry came to a halt on the circuit.
World Touring Car champion Jose Maria Lopez completed his maiden competitive Formula E session in sixth.
Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra), Antonio Felix da Costa (Andretti), Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi) and Robin Frijns (Andretti) rounded out the top 10.
Meanwhile, reigning Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi ended up 11th ahead of top Jaguar runner Mitch Evans as the Kiwi made his Formula E debut.
The 20 car field will be split into four groups for qualifying ahead of Sunday’s race.
FIA Formula E Qualifying Groups
Nico Prost, Renault e.DAMS
Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi
Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing
Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing
Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti
Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing
Ma Qing Hua, TECHEETAH
Oliver Turvey, NextEV NIO
Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Robin Frijns, Andretti
Nelson Piquet Jr, NextEV NIO
Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH
Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.DAMS
Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Jerome D’Ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing
Maro Engel, Venturi
Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing