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Nissan Formula E Team Returns to Japan for the Inaugural Tokyo E-Prix

Led by drivers Oliver Rowland and Sacha Fenestraz, the Nissan Formula E Team arrived in Japan, confident after consecutive podium finishes.

YOKOHAMA ― The Nissan Formula E Team arrived in Japan on March 21 to begin preparations for the first-ever Tokyo E-Prix. The electric car event will be held on the streets of Tokyo less than an hour away from the company's global headquarters on Saturday, March 30.

This event marks Round 5 of the 2023-24 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the squad in strong form after Oliver Rowland's excellent double overtake in the last corner of the last lap in Sao Paulo on March 16 made it back-to-back podiums for the Brit. (Rowland also placed third in the Diriyah E-Prix on January 27 in Saudi Arabia.)

Teammate Sacha Fenestraz was unlucky to miss out on the points in Brazil. He finished 11th overall. But he returns to familiar surroundings in Tokyo, having raced in Japan from 2019 to 2022 in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship.

Information About the Tokyo E-Prix

The Nissan Formula E Team, also known as Nismo, will mark the occasion with several special activities and events.

For instance, the outfit's two Nissan e-4ORCE 04 cars will sport a one-off livery, highlighting its Japanese DNA more than ever before. Meanwhile, 3,000 Nissan employees, fans and guests will sit in eight Nissan-dedicated grandstands around the track. 

In addition, several Nissan cars will hit the track on race day in a 30-minute demonstration, with the Nissan Formula E Gen2 car, the Nissan LEAF Nismo RC prototype and the new Nissan ARIYA Nismo all in action.

Formula E's maiden race in Japan will take place at a 2.582-kilometer urban circuit surrounding the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre, commonly known as Tokyo Big Sight. Featuring 18 turns, the track includes a tricky first sector with lots of slow corners followed by three notable straights, combining all the elements for an excellent and challenging race. Overtaking will take place most likely at Turns 10, 15 and 17.

The action begins on Friday, with free practice starting at 4:25 PM. On Saturday, qualifying will get underway at 10:20 AM, and the race is set to start at 3 PM.

Nissan Formula E Team
Nissan Formula E Team managing director Tommaso Volpe. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

Insights from the Nissan Formula E Team Executive

In the run-up to the race, Tommaso Volpe, the Nissan Formula E Team's managing director and team principal, shared detailed insights about the season and his thoughts on the Tokyo E-Prix.

"The last two race weekends have been really positive for the team," he said. "Scoring podiums in both Diriyah and Sao Paulo has given us confidence and we know we have the pace to be competitive.

"To head into our debut home race off the back of these performances is great for team morale, and we couldn't be more thrilled to compete in Tokyo for the first time."

According to Volpe, for Nismo to compete at the Tokyo E-Prix is an exciting opportunity.

"With the race being located so close to our global headquarters, everybody at Nissan is looking forward to the event and will be supporting us," Volpe remarked. "The Formula E World Championship plays a key part in our electrification strategy, so to finally be able to race in front of our home crowd is amazing.

"We've been dreaming of an E-Prix in Japan for a long time, and have been excited for it to come ever since it was announced by the series!"

Volpe continued: "We want to make sure it's a special occasion for the whole team, our employees and fans, so we've got plenty of special events happening, with car demonstrations on track, our Nissan grandstands, and of course, a one-off livery for the race. We've designed it with passion and enthusiasm to try to celebrate this special event even while racing. [And] we can't wait to reveal it and hope everyone will love it as much as we do!"

Nissan Formula E Team
Nismo's Sacha Fenestraz is interviewed during the Diriyah E-Prix racing week. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

Nissan Formula E Team
Sacha Fenestraz competes during the 2023-24 season. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

It's just a shoe!

Fenestraz Shares His Thoughts on the Tokyo E-Prix

"I'm extremely excited of course, I did a big part of my career in Japan so going back there will be awesome and I cannot wait for the race," Fenestraz said.

He added, "I know how amazing and crazy the Japanese fans are, so that will make it even more special. It's the first time the team and Formula E are going to Japan, so we are looking forward to seeing all the amazing support in the grandstands.

"It will be almost like a home race for me, the track looks really interesting so I'm excited to go racing!"

Nissan Formula E Team
Nismo driver Oliver Rowland participates in an interview in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, in late January. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

Rowland Offers His Views Before the Tokyo Race

"I'm delighted to have secured another podium in Sao Paulo and want to keep this positive form going into the team's home race," he said on March 21.

Rowland added, "I'm super excited to be racing in Japan, I went there a few times in karting, and from what we have experienced at the Nismo Festival (a fan-appreciation event held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture on December 3, 2023), the reception we receive from the fans is second to none, so I'm really looking forward to getting on track.

Nissan Formula E Team
Oliver Rowland pilots his Nissan e-4ORCE 04 during the 2024 Mexico City E-Prix on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on January 13 in Mexico City. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

"It's positive pressure when you have this type of support. You have extra energy to focus on the challenge, we need to manage that in a balanced way, not get too excited but also not too nervous."

And what is Rowland expecting the experience of race day to be?

"It's going to be a huge race for the team," Rowland said, "and I can't wait to get out there and experience the atmosphere."

Nissan Formula E Team
Nismo's Oliver Rowland at the front of the pack in the Sao Paulo E-Prix on March 16. (Courtesy of Nissan Formula E Team)

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This article was first published on the Nissan Global Newsroom website. It is republished courtesy of Nissan.

Author: SportsLook

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