Jaguar TCS Racing driver Nick Cassidy set a 1m24.617s to be fastest of all at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, and half a second quicker than the best time in pre-season testing for season 9, the inaugural GEN3 campaign.
On his final lap, he overtook teammate Mitch Evans, who had been leading the timesheets for a long time, thwarting his compatriot’s bid to seal a clean sweep in Valencia.
However, Cassidy’s time was not the best we had seen this week, as Evans stood out more in the opening session by a couple of tenths of a second.
Maximilian Guenther had been fastest in three of the last four special stages in the Spanish city and the Maserati MSG Racing driver had set the pace last year.
This time, he completed the third and final session in second place among the Jaguars, 0.041 seconds off Cassidy’s pace.
Reigning champion Jake Dennis put the No. 1 Andretti in ninth place as he crossed the checkered flag. Robin Frijns, in his return to Envision Racing, finished fourth, Pascal Wehrlein in the TAG Heuer Porsche fifth and Norman Nato, in his Andretti debut this week, rounded out the top six.
In a close fight, the day’s 21 runners were separated by just 0.7 seconds and just over half a second separated the top 19 runners.
The morning started with a 27-lap race simulation that gave teams and drivers the chance to test a full race program including ATTACK MODE activations, fast charging simulations, as well as caution and safety car periods.
Frijns led until the checkered flag after overtaking Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa in the closing laps. The session ended with Frijns P1, Evans P2 and da Costa in P3.
The official preseason test marks the first and only time all 22 drivers and 11 teams take to the track together before heading to Mexico City for the first round of the ABB FIA Formula E 2023/24 World Championship on January 13.