Virgin Racing enjoyed a strong opening day to Formula E pre-season testing at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit, with Sam Bird making early in-roads by topping the timesheets in the morning session.

The Briton posted a 1:18.669s late in the first stint to go top with new team-mate Alex Lynn – embarking on his rookie Formula E season – following closely behind in P4.

After getting acclimatised to the modified 12-turn, 3.09km National Circuit, the morning session saw the team carry out a series of qualifying runs, before using the afternoon stint to focus on longer race simulations.

Despite the afternoon session proving a little stop/start, the team racked up an impressive 158 laps, with Lynn in particular completing the most of any driver in a single session with 48.

The day ended with Sam Bird in P5 and Alex Lynn P7 overall.

Speaking afterwards Lynn said: “Today’s been a positive first day where we’ve been able to work through a mixture of set programmes and scenarios. This track is obviously not representative of the circuits Formula E normally races on but it’s the same for all teams and we’re looking forward to continuing our progress tomorrow.”

Bird added: “You can never read too much into testing as it’s hard to know what programmes other teams are running, but overall it’s been a good day for the team and we feel we have a car with a good package.”

Official Formula E pre-season testing continues tomorrow (Tuesday 3 October) from 09:00 CEST.

FIA Formula E Championship – Valencia pre-season testing – Day 1
Combined times (morning & afternoon)

1. Oliver Turvey, NIO, 1:18, 565s
2. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.Dams, 1:18.577s
3. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 1:18. 579s
4. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing, 1:18.643s
5. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 1:18.669s
6. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 1:18.697s
7. Alex Lynn, Virgin Racing, 1:18. 957s
8. Jean Eric Vergne, Techeetah, 1:19. 016s
9. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 1:19.063s
10. Nicolas Prost, Renault e.Dams, 1:19.097s
11. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing, 1:19.117s
12. Andre Lotterer, Techeetah, 1:19. 491s
13. Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 1:19.627s
14. Jerome D’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, 1:19.991s
15. Alexander Sims, Andretti Formula E, 1:20.094s
16. Antonio Felix Da Costa, Andretti Formula E, 1:20.107s
17. James Rossiter, Venturi, 1:20.159s
18. Luca Filippi, NIO Formula E, 1:20. 642s
19. Edoardo Mortara, Venutri, 1:20.712s
20. Neel Jani, Dragon Racing 1:21.888s