10 Apr 21
- FAN ZONE
01 Apr 21
2019/20 proved to be a transitional campaign for NIO 333 by all accounts, with the team restructuring after a pre-season buyout. Having made a promising start to Season 7, though, the squad is full of optimism as it welcomes a major new long-term technical partner.
NIO 333 immediately put its Season 6 blank to bed in Diriyah with pace and points. Oliver Turvey scored in the opener with 10th and followed up with sixth in Round 2, while new signing Tom Blomqvist diced at the sharp end and showed plenty of promise and looked likely to tally too before being caught up in others' incidents.
"The results of Diriyah were a vindication of the hard work from everyone," says Team Principal Christian Silk. "We want to enjoy our motorsport and certainly that is much easier when you are performing well.
"The team has always been very strong with a sound engineering basis, as you would expect. Unfortunately, over the years there were a few wrong turns taken in terms of powertrain and control systems that hurt us massively.
"Season 6 was very much transitional, and a case of getting a car on the grid that was safe and reliable without having much time to spend on developing its performance. For Season 7, we have had another year to develop and that is starting to show with improved performance.
"We are on a journey and we have only just started it. We still have a long way to go, no one in the team is under any illusions about that, but at least we now know we are on the right path."
Following Lisheng Racing's takeover of NIO 333, via its Brilliance in Excellence brand, ahead of that transitional 2019/20 season, GUSTO Group has now joined the fold in a technical partnership with the team.
Through GUSTO Engineering - the technical division of GUSTO Group - founder Alex Hui, is set to head up the technical and operational side of the NIO 333 Racing team as Executive Director alongside Team Principal Christian Silk.
“My focus is to bring my contacts into the Formula E programme, identify the problems previously faced by the team and try to allocate resources in better places in terms of team building, hardware, powertrain investment," says Hui.
"I don't manage the team on a day to day basis, that is up to my UK colleagues, but I am responsible for the technical strategy. I am constantly speaking to the engineers to understand what they need to drive the team forward.”
"Our target is to be a consistent points scorer," adds Silk. "Our results at Rounds 1 and 2 were good, but we now need to carry that into the rest of the season. I don’t think our car was particularly suited to the Diriyah track layout, brilliant though it is, so I am hopeful we can keep, or even improve on, our level of performance at more typical Formula E street circuits.
"We need to be consistent, extract the maximum from the car and be ready to attack when other teams run into problems. That might not sound nice, but this is racing!"
GUSTO is renowned in the Chinese market for R&D, production and installation of motor racing accessories in China, and in 2014 became the official chassis and engine supplier of the China Touring Car Championship.
Its remit has since diversified to include consumer vehicle performance upgrades and motor racing support services across Asia, and the company is already working with NIO 333 on parts, supply chain management and resourcing.
“For the next stage of the 333 Racing Formula E long-term project I would like to bring the knowledge of electric racing back into the Chinese motorsport and automotive market," says Hui. "We want to create a strong technical alliance between the UK and China, with GUSTO playing the major part in it.”
NIO 333 also recently confirmed a partnership with Integral Powertrain - an EV engineering company that has worked with Nissan e.dams and DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT in past Formula E applications.
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