The final fly-away event of the second FIA Formula E championship season will unfold this Saturday on the streets on Long Beach.

The Circuit

Long Beach ePrix circuit

2015-16 FIA Formula E Championship – Long Beach ePrix
Date 2 April 2016 Lap Length 2.100km
Free Practice Session 1 Sat 08:15-09:00 Free Practice Session 2 Sat 10:30-11:00
Qualifying Group 1 Sat 12:00-12:06 Qualifying Group 2 Sat 12:10-12:16
Qualifying Group 3 Sat 12:20-12:26 Qualifying Group 4 Sat 12:30-12:36
Super Pole Sat 12:45-13:00 Race (41 laps) Sat 16:00-16:50

Session times quoted in Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -07:00)

The abbreviated seven-turn, 2.1-kilometre layout of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit will again be used by Formula E, with the Marina section of the IndyCar course bypassed by the Turn 1/2 chicane and 90-degree right-hand turn three. Along with these corners, the other 90-degree right-handers at Turns 4 and 5 and the Turn 7 hairpin also saw passing during last year’s race.

Reflecting on the 2015 Long Beach ePrix and the circuit in general, Piquet Jr detailed how the event differs to other Formula E races: “It was a very emotional race for me in Long Beach last year. We were already very strong coming off the back of the race in Miami, and for some reason both myself and the team were super confident heading to Long Beach. It was one of those that I had the feeling I was going to win. It was a good weekend and it kick-started my challenge for the championship.

“The track has a slightly different feeling to other circuits we race on in Formula E. It feels bigger and wider, and it’s not as bumpy or as technical as some other places we visit. The shortened Grand Prix circuit we use is still a quick track with some long straights and fast chicanes. I think it should suit our car much better and hopefully we won’t suffer as much in Long Beach.”

Nicolas Prost holds the official Long Beach lap record for Formula E at 58.973s, while Daniel Abt set the qualifying record of 56.937s.

The Form Guide

The 2015 Long Beach event saw Nelson Piquet Jr take his first Formula E win of what would ultimately be a championship-winning campaign for the Brazilian. With Piquet’s NEXTEV TCR squad genuinely struggling for competitiveness this season, it is highly likely that a new Long Beach winner will be crowned.

Having led the championship for just a few hours before being disqualified due to a technical infringement after the last race in Mexico City, Lucas di Grassi will be looking to repeat his driving performance. Championship leader Sébastien Buemi ultimately finished second in Mexico, with the consistency the Renault e.Dams race has shown across the five events so far likely to again be on display in Long Beach.

The Dragon Racing pair of Jérôme d’Ambrosio – who was awarded the Mexico win following di Grassi’s exclusion – and Loïc Duval have shown an improvement in speed over recent events, and along with Buenos Aires winner Sam Bird will also be in the mix this weekend.

Practice for the 2016 Long Beach ePrix begins at 08:15am local time (UTC-08:00), with practice two at 10:30am. Qualifying starts at 12:00pm, leading in to Super Pole at 12:45 and the 41 lap race scheduled to start at 16:00pm.

Image via FIA Formula E Championship

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Mitch Timms

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Professional motorsport engineer and all-round tech head.