ABB Formula E’s Race at Home Challenge, in Support of UNICEF returns to Hong Kong for its fourth round of the virtual championship on rFactor 2. NIO 333 drivers Oliver Turvey and Ma Qinghua showed strong performance to bring home the team’s first double points finish.
After Turvey showed consistent performance during the early part of the season, and Ma scored his first point last weekend, both drivers are hoping for some good results coming into the team’s “Home Race”.
Starting from 6th and 7th, both drivers fulfilled the team’s expectation with good performance. However, the infamous Turn 1 of Hong Kong once again caused chaos that hampered the drivers’ progress. Turvey dropped into the elimination zone but driving with a never-give-up mentality, the British star delivered a master drive, bringing home 7th at the finishing line. Ma had a good start but was dropped outside of the Top 10 in the last lap. After a penalty was given to another driver, Ma finished 10th again, with 1 point.
In the Challenge Grid Race, NIO 333 ‘s Gentleman Driver Liu Zexuan finished 22nd in his second outing for the team.
The team has also made few breakthroughs in promoting the eRace. With a number of initiatives including interactions between influencers and the team CEO Vincent Wang, more and more motorsport fans in China got to know more about Formula E.
Oliver Turvey, #3, NIO 333 FE Team
“I managed a clean lap to qualify P6 in the first wet qualifying session, although based on my times in practice I had the pace to be on the front row. After a strong start, the first corner was chaotic with a hit from behind pushing me wide and causing a huge amount of damage. Despite dropping towards the rear of the field, I was able to fight my way back up the order to finish the race in P7. I was pleased with the recovery to score more points although frustrated that a potential podium got away.”
Ma Qinghua, #33, NIO 333 FE Team
“To be honest, the weather condition was a surprise. I practised in the dry and did not know the Qualifying will be in the wet until not long before the race. But with some practice, I got a good result in the Qualifying. I was lucky to avoid the chaotic start incident at the outside of the corner, but I did lose some positions. Looking back, I think I made another step on my race pace, had a good feeling for the simulator. I should have been more aggressive in the last lap, it was a bit of a shame because I could have achieved an even better result.”
Liu Zexuan, Challenge Driver
“I have never practised on this track, throughout the week I made some huge progress. I was quite relaxed in today’s race, testing out our partner Thrustmaster’s new equipment for the team. I really enjoy contesting such a high level eSport competition, hopefully I will have a better result next time.”
About NIO 333 FE Team
The NIO FE Team has participated in the FIA Formula E since the inaugural season and has won the driver’s championship title in 2014/15 season by Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr.
British driver Oliver Turvey joined the team in June 2015, and has participated in all races for the team so far. He will continue to race for the NIO 333 FE Team in the 2019/20 season. Ma Qing Hua is the only Chinese driver with Formula E experience. He has served as a reserve driver for the NIO FE Team, and has been promoted to the official driver for the 2019/20 season, racing for the NIO 333 FE Team together with Oliver.
333 Racing partnered with NIO Formula E Team in September 2019, and was renamed NIO 333 Formula E Team. The new team is fully managed and operated by the professional motorsport management company in China, Lisheng Racing, while its European team is responsible for R&D and technical support. NIO will remain as the title sponsor of the team. With these changes, the team will also embrace more Chinese elements.
About Oliver Turvey
Oliver Turvey, born in Penrith, the United Kingdom on April 1st, 1987, won LMP2 Class in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, and served as the McLaren F1 Team test driver for 6 seasons.
Since joining the FIA Formula E in the inaugural season finale in London, Oliver has become an integral part of the NIO Formula E Team. His strong performance in qualifying awarded him first pole position in the 2017 Mexico E Prix. He broke into SuperPole shootout three times, finished top ten in qualifying 9 times, and achieved his first podium in the 2017 Mexico City E-Prix.
About Ma Qinghua
Ma Qinghua, born in Shanghai, China on December 25th, 1987, won two races in the 2014 WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) and became the first Chinese driver to stand on the top step of the podium in the FIA World Championship event.
Ma Qinghua appeared in the first practice of the 2012 F1 Italian Grand Prix, and became the first Chinese driver to drive an F1 car at a Grand Prix weekend. At his home race, the 2013 F1 Chinese Grand Prix, Ma Qinghua also participated in the first practice session. He won the China Touring Car Championship 1600cc class title in 2011, and took victory in the 2019 WTCR (World Touring Car Cup) Slovakia Race 3.
In the 2015 – 2016 FIA Formula E season, Ma Qinghua joined the Aguri Team to complete four races. In the following season, the Aguri Team was renamed DS Techeetah, and he continued to stay in the team for three additional races.
In the 2017 – 2018 and 2018 – 2019 seasons, Ma Qinghua served as a reserve driver for the NIO Formula E team, prior to signing up with the new NIO 333 FE Team as the official driver. He will partner with Oliver Turvey for the 2019/20 season.