Oliver Rowland is hoping to be back on the Formula E track in early August and believes his strong performance in the simulated Race At Home events will help him challenge for the title.
The Formula E organisers are hoping to restart for a shortened season, possibly with three weekends featuring two races each. The electric car series is considered the second biggest in the world behind Formula One which it hopes to challenge for popularity. Penistone man Rowland was ninth after five rounds when the series was postponed in March.
He said: “I would like to think that things can start again at the start of August. It’s just like a winter break. We will do a lot of simulator prep, we may even be able to test the car before the races. I am a little bit unlucky to be ninth, the potential is a lot stronger. I would like to think we can still fight for the title. The team has been working really hard and made some improvements. Hopefully, personally, I can be better than I was before. Hopefully we can get some race wins and see where that leaves us. “The minimum aim has to be to win some races.”
The Race At Home Challenge has seen drivers competing from simulators in their homes during lockdown, to raise money for UNICEF. Rowland said: “I have a two bedroom apartment in London. I live on my own. I had a spare room set up in case friends or family come to stay. But I had to move the bed on its side against the wall so I had room for the simulator. The bed is going to go in the bin and the simulator is staying. Anyone who stays over will have to sleep on the sofa.”
Rowland won the final race of the series on Sunday, his second victory in four events, to finish third overall in the standings while his team Nissan e.dams came second in the team championship. He believes that success will help him when he gets back out on the track. He said: “You can take confidence from knowing you can fight in another aspect of the sport. The bigger thing is just staying in the rhythm of competing, dealing with the pressure. It’s a very different environment but there are similarities. I will be sharp when I come back, I haven’t been doing nothing for three or four months.”
On the Race at Home overall, Rowland said: “It was good. The sim stuff is pretty fun when you don’t have much to do. I have been able to push myself and I have clearly improved over the six weeks. I started off pretty decent but not good enough to compete for the podium. But then I was on the podium for the last four races and won two of them. I enjoyed pushing myself and improving. In general, being able to communicate with the team and other drivers has been good as well as supporting UNICEF who help kids and families around the world.”