Archive for the ‘Formula E’ Category

Third-generation racer visits with Andretti Formula E

Friday, July 25th, 2014

7.25.14 – While Andretti Formula E continues to evaluate candidates for its second full-time driver in the new global FIA, all-electric racing series, the American team recently called up one of its own from its stateside outfit. Reigning Pro Mazda champion and Indy Lights rookie Matthew Brabham made his way across the pond to visit with the team at its headquarters in the UK where the 20-year-old took a tour of the brand spanking new facilities at Donington Park, met with team members and had the opportunity to have a look at the innovative electric cars up close and personal, including an opportunity to take the Spark Renault SRT-01E for a few test laps.
 
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me, and I’m very grateful to Andretti Autosport; they have a fantastic operation going here in the UK,” the third-generation racer said. “The Formula E car is very interesting and complex and I think it has a great future ahead. I believe we got some valuable data from my time in the car, and it was a lot of fun, so a big thank you to the team. The series is also littered with accomplished engineers and drivers, and in meeting them, I think it’s great for building my experience as well.”
 
Brabham, son of four-time IMSA Champion Geoff Brabham and grandson to the late three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, is no stranger to the UK. The Indianapolis resident’s cousin, Sam Brabham, currently competes in British Formula Ford and is based north of London, while uncle David Brabham will be competing at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans in October. Matthew’s trip to the Andretti Formula E headquarters is a testament to the confidence team owner Michael Andretti has in the rising star.
 
“Matty has a bright racing future ahead of him,” said Andretti. “He’s done a great job for us in Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. As one of our drivers, we were happy to have him visit Donington and learn more about Formula E. We’re very much enjoying having him as a part of the Andretti team and look forward to being a part of his developing career. ”
 
Next up for the United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED driver, who currently lies fourth in the Indy Lights championship points fight, is a doubleheader race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the final week of July. Fans can watch the race on NBC Sports Network at 6:00 p.m. ET on 3 August.
 
 
 

Scott Speed and Gil de Ferran to test with Andretti Formula E

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

7.2.2014 – Andretti Formula E will see two familiar drivers in their fully-electric race cars for the upcoming FIA Formula E Championship test on July 3-4 at UK's Donington Park. Former Formula 1 and full time Andretti Rallycross driver Scott Speed and two-time IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran will both have the opportunity to test Andretti's Spark-Renault SRT-01E on the 2.498-mile (4.020-km) circuit.
 
Speed, who in 2006 became the first American in Formula 1 since Michael Andretti in 1993, will complete the two-day test alongside Andretti Formula E's first confirmed driver Franck Montagny.
 
"I'm excited to get into a single-seater again," said Speed. "I expect it to be a very steep learning curve seeing as I haven't driven anything with downforce in seven years. The Andretti organization has been an amazing company to drive for, and I'm happy to grow my role as one of its drivers while helping out with the Formula E test."
 
Joining Montagny and Speed will be racing icon Gil de Ferran who will lend his expertise in completing some laps for the team, giving the Formula E Ambassador an opportunity to gain in-seat experience on the new sustainable racing championship.
 
"Being an Ambassador and strong supporter of Formula E, from day one I have been very curious and interested in how an electric-powered racing car would behave and handle," said the Brazilian with more than two decades of racing experience. "I am highly interested in the technical side of motorsports so this has been a great curiosity for me. Obviously I haven't driven anything feverishly for over five years, so it will be certainly a challenge but something that I am really looking forward to. I want to take the opportunity to thank Michael (Andretti) and the team for allowing me to do this run. Hopefully now I will be able to speak about Formula E and its qualities from a first-hand perspective."
 
Team principal Michael Andretti added, "I'm delighted to see both Scott (Speed) and Gil (de Ferran) in our cars for the upcoming test. Scott is one of our contracted drivers with great open-wheel experience, so we're happy to have him fill the seat while we evaluate options for our second full-time Formula E driver. Gil has been a longtime friend of the team and we look forward to hearing his feedback about the cars."
 
 
 
 

Formula E hosts prestigious global launch party

Monday, June 30th, 2014

6.30.14 (via FIA Formula E) – A host of celebrities, VIPs, MPs, teams, drivers and press gathered at London’s Roundhouse this evening to celebrate the official Global Launch for the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship.

 

Hosted by David Garrido, more than 500 guests attended the prestigious event – including motorsport greats Alain Prost, Damon Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi and Sir Frank Williams – which saw organisers reveal a number of key announcements for the world’s first fully-electric race series, which begins in less than three months’ time in Beijing.

 

The evening began with a video message from FIA President Jean Todt before guests were treated to exclusive footage of the team’s Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E cars driving on Westminster Bridge, together with the backdrop of the iconic Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The incredible scenes were shot the day before to provide fans with a taster of what a Formula E street race will look and sound like.

 

Formula E’s CEO Alejandro Agag said: “Tonight has been a very special milestone in the journey of Formula E and I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support. As our first race draws closer, it’s fantastic to see the new era of motorsport come to life. Since September when we first unveiled the car, we’ve come such a long way and now have circuits, teams, drivers, broadcasters, and of course our founding partners; Michelin, Tag Heuer, Renault, Qualcomm and DHL – who delivered the cars here today. Next month will see our first test days where we already have 3,000 members of the public registered to come and see, but also, hear what we believe will be the future of motorsport. We are very excited about the start of the season and very pleased to be taking further steps forward by announcing new partners, drivers and of course our London race venue.”

 

Battersea Park revealed as London race venue… 
One of the biggest announcements of the evening was the venue for the London race, or ePrix, the season finale for the inaugural Formula E series scheduled for June 27 2015. The Deputy Mayor of London Sir Edward Lister revealed together with Alejandro Agag that the chosen location for the race would be within the grounds of Battersea Park in the Borough of Wandsworth, South London, with further details to be announced in due course.

 

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Fast, fun, and no doubt furious, the FIA Formula E Championship race in London is set to provide an awesome addition to the capital's sporting calendar. The atmosphere will quite literally be electric and Battersea, which is already booming with the buzz of regeneration, will be alive with the excitement that this new, world-class event will no doubt spark. Hosting the championship final of this all electric race is a fantastic feather in our city's sporting cap. It shows that there is great confidence in London's ability to stage the biggest and the best global sporting events, which play such an important role in boosting our economy and our international reputation."

 

Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Business & Energy, was also present during the evening to discuss the burgeoning UK motor sport industry and Formula E’s contribution to it.

 

Buemi & Prost sign for newly-titled e.dams-Renault…
It was an important evening for the e.dams team too, founded by Jean-Paul Driot and four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost. The French team announced that Renault, also a Founding Technical Partner to the series, would become its title sponsor, renaming the team e.dams Renault. The outfit also revealed its driver line-up with former F1 driver Sébastien Buemi and Alain’s son Nicolas Prost. This sees the return of a ‘Prost vs Senna’ battle following Mahindra Racing’s signing of Bruno Senna, nephew of the great Ayrton.

 

Alain Prost, co-owner of e.dams-Renault and ambassador for the Renault brand, said: “Jean-Paul Driot and I are delighted to be associated with Renault in this new adventure. The choice of Renault as a major partner was a natural step because of the exceptional record it has carved out in motorsport, as well as its unique expertise in the field of electric vehicles. Personally, I am thrilled by the idea of working with Renault on such an ambitious project again and by the prospect of writing a new chapter of our association.

 

“We are actively preparing for the first races of the season. This week’s test at Donington Park is the next step in that process and it will be followed by a busy summer in order to be ready and competitive for the first ePrix in Beijing, on September 13. It’s an enormous challenge because this championship is completely new, both in terms of the technology it features and also the race formats. These are very exciting times.”

 

Patrice Ratti, President of Renault Sport, said: “This partnership with e.dams-Renault will allow Renault Sport to have an even closer involvement with the FIA Formula E Championship. The series will be unique and takes motorsport into a new age. Renault is proud to be playing a part in the adventure which stands out as a new challenge. We know Alain and Jean-Paul very well and their experience and record make them high-quality partners. Our involvement with e.dams-Renault will play a core role in our participation and in our Formula E development work.”

 

Michela Cerruti becomes series’ second female driver…
Italian driver Michela Cerruti was confirmed that she will partner Grand Prix race-winner Jarno Trulli for his own TrulliGP team, becoming the championship’s second female driver after Katherine Legge and the 14th of 20 confirmed drivers.

 

The Auto GP race-winner said: “I’m very pleased to join TrulliGP and I am very honoured to be part of the FIA Formula E Championship. I really do believe that this series can help attract people to use electric vehicles and help care for the future of the environment. I’m now looking forward to testing the car to start this new challenge.”

 

Jarno Trulli added: “Michela is a very talented driver with a natural skill. I was impressed by her recent results considering the very limited time she has spent in single-seaters. I’m extremely happy to share my long Formula 1 experience with Michela to make our team successful.  I’m convinced that Michela is an up and coming star, the one to watch for this season and the future.”

 

Formula E & BMW…
Formula E also announced that it is finalising a partnership with leading German automobile manufacturer BMW to become the official vehicle supplier for the series. The agreement would see BMW supply a fleet of its highly advanced fully-electric and hybrid vehicles to be used as course, medical and VIP cars at all race events. Two of the manufacturer’s vehicles – the all-electric BMW i3 and the hybrid BMW i8 – which will be used at the events were also unveiled to guests.

 

Jörg Reimann, Vice President BMW Brand Experience, said: “We have watched with great interest the continued growth of the new FIA Formula E Championship and the potential it has to significantly increase the interest in sustainable mobility.  As a global manufacturer at the forefront of innovation and technology, BMW regards Formula E as a great platform in which to showcase our range of fully-electric and hybrid vehicles and to align our common goals. We are working on an agreement to finalise this partnership.”

 

Fans to give favourite driver power boost…
The championship’s interactive Fan Boost was also officially launched during the evening which will allow fans to vote for their favourite driver giving them an extra ‘speed burst’ during the race, helping to aid overtaking. In a change to the first proposed format, the top three drivers with the most votes will each receive one boost, temporarily increasing their car’s power from 133kw (180bhp) to 200kw (270bhp). Votes can be cast online at www.fiaformulae.com and via the official Formula E app (which launches September 1) with voting opening from the start of the previous race and closing shortly before the start of the race.

Those voting online will be able to select just one driver, whilst those using the app will get five. The online voting system (iframe) will also be hosted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Sina Weibo. Votes can be changed any number of times up until the closing date. Every time a vote is placed it can be shared forwards as a hashtag and appear in a timeline on Facebook or Weibo generating further social interaction.

 

Formula E to benefit local schools…
The evening concluded with the news that Formula E is to partner with the Greenpower Education Trust, designed to promote sustainable engineering to young people. The project sees students from 10 local schools designing and building their own electric race car, which will then race on the full Formula E race track at five of the 10 events, beginning in Buenos Aires on January 10 2015. With their experience mirroring that of the Formula E teams and drivers – from the starting grid to the podium – it’s hoped the initiative will inspire young people to embrace sustainable mobility as well as being a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the children. The race will focus on the driver’s energy efficiency as well as speed, and each participating school will be given 200 free tickets to come and cheer on their fellow pupils as they search for the equilibrium between these two.

 

Jeremy Way, CEO of Greenpower, said: "Formula E is the most exciting motorsport innovation in a generation and could not only revolutionise the way people view the sport, but also greatly enhance the advances being made in the development of electric and sustainable automotive engineering. The values and objectives that underpin Formula E mirror exactly Greenpower’s own aims; we have been promoting the advancement of sustainable motoring and engineering in the UK's schools and universities for 16 years and we are delighted that we can now take our initiative on to a global stage."

 

The evening concluded with live music and entertainment with teams and drivers now focusing on preparing for the start of pre-season testing which begins at Donington Park on July 3 – one of five test days open free of charge to the public.

 

Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits – with races in China, Malaysia, Uruguay, Argentina, US, Monaco, Germany and the UK – it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir Richard Branson.

 

For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com

 

Montagny: “I’ve had a smile on my face since the first lap”

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

6.5.2014 (via fiaformulae.com Franck Montagny is the first driver to be confirmed for the Andretti Autosport Formula E Team and we spoke with him following his first outing in the fully-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E…

 

How does it feel to be announced as a Formula E driver for the first fully-electric racing championship?

Well I’m very happy to be part of it and I’m proud to be here at the beginning of the story. It’s a new championship and it’s completely different with a unique approach to racing. It’s not only a new racing series but a new era of motorsport.

 

Having driven the car for the first time during the shakedown at Donington Park, what are your feelings of the car?

The car is very special and honestly I have had a smile on my face since the first lap I stepped into it and I still can’t stop. It’s good fun to drive and if I have fun inside the car I think people outside will like it.

 

With the different levels of power available have you had the chance to experience a variety of feedback from the car?

I’ve tried full power once on an in-lap just to get a feeling and it’s fantastic but I guess this is not the way we are going to run the race. The power is not the most important thing, we have to bring the show to the people and I think we can do that.

 

Read more here…

Andretti Formula E Announces Team’s First FIA Formula E Driver

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

5.29.14 – Andretti Formula E, the FIA Formula E division of race team Andretti Autosport, will welcome French-native Franck Montagny to the team's stable of full-time drivers. With a diverse and extensive racing resume, Montagny becomes the first driver announced for Michael Andretti's two-car Formula E effort.

Although both new to Formula E for its debut season, the relationship between Andretti and Montagny dates back to 2008 when Montagny competed in the ALMS series with Andretti Autosport, he then returned to the team in 2009 with the IndyCar Series and again for the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

"It is a great honor to be racing again with Andretti Autosport and Michael Andretti." said Montagny. "I worked a great deal with the team in 2008 and 2009, and again this year, and working together on this new electric challenge will be exciting. I am convinced that this new fully-electric technology in the automotive industry will become a very important characteristic of our day to day lives in the future, and this high-level racing competition will very quickly bring new technical developments just as Formula 1 did in the past for everyday automobiles."

In addition to his resume with Andretti Autosport, Montagny boasts 12 starts at the historic 24 Hours de Le Mans with four-podium finishes, in addition to five years of Formula One experience with seven grand prix competitions.

In addition to his time on track as a driver, Montagny has spent a great deal of time working in front of the camera with the French TV Group TF1 as a Formula One consultant and pit reporter for "Canal+".

The FIA Formula E Championship will travel to Beijing, China for the debut round of competition taking place in September 2014.

For more information visit AndrettiAutosport.com or FIAFormulaE.com.

 

 

 

Andretti Formula E and Wirth Research combine for the charge on the FIA Formula E Championship

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

5.21.2014 – Andretti Autosport has reunited with Digital engineering specialists Wirth Research as it prepares to compete in the world's first international all-electric race car series.

Andretti Autosport and Wirth Research, two great names in international motorsport, have worked successfully together before – most notably in two of Andretti Autosport's four IndyCar Series title-winning seasons (2004 with Tony Kanaan and in 2005 with Dan Wheldon) and with victory in the 2005 Indy 500 with Wheldon (all wins achieved with an Andretti Dallara-Honda).
 
Wirth Research will now provide Andretti Formula E with vital engineering services for its assault on the new FIA Formula E Championship, which begins in Beijing in September.
 
Based in Indianapolis, Ind. and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Formula E is one of only 10 teams accepted by the FIA for the inaugural Formula E Championship, with car build and all pre-season testing taking place during May and June at the Donington Park Racing Circuit in England.
 
With its previously successful association, Oxfordshire-based Wirth Research -in the heart of motorsport valley and only a short drive from Donington – is perfectly placed to assist Andretti Autosport in this exciting new technology-racing venture. Wirth's virtual engineering technology includes flow simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) services and an advanced driver-in-the-loop simulator.
 
Testing and full race simulations for Formula E take place on track in July and August, prior to the cars being transported from the UK to China for the eagerly anticipated opening round.
 
Michael Andretti CEO of Andretti Formula E, said: "We couldn't be more excited about the upcoming FIA Formula E season and partnering with Wirth Research for all of our Formula E engineering services. We are building a strong team of management and drivers that will complement Wirth's expertise, and look forward to a success inaugural season."
 
Nick Wirth, President of Wirth Research, said: "I am delighted that we have been chosen by Andretti to support them in the new Global Electric Race Series with our engineering services. Technology, sport and environmental issues combined with safety are of great importance to both our companies. The engineering challenges for this championship will be unique, and getting the most out of the cars' features, such as the driver-controlled energy recovery and 'Push to Pass' power boost with its interactive vote, will be an interesting challenge. We are looking forward to being part of this new and exciting form of racing."