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Virgin and Venturi racing teams round out Formula E roster

Two high-profile groups have announced plans to field teams for Formula E, the all-electric racing series that will take place in 10 city centers around the world, beginning in Beijing in September 2014. The Virgin Racing and Venturi teams became the ninth and tenth to join, making the roster complete.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire has long been a trendsetter when it comes to high technology and high speed. “The launch of the Formula E Championship is exciting news for racing fans but also for those that believe in developing the great electric cars of the future,” said Branson. “The need to create fast, dependable and durable race cars will help to accelerate the sector and showcase electric cars to a large global audience.  With races around many famous city centres, I am expecting a lot of spectators, plenty of fun and some sparks flying as the competition hots up.”

Alex Tai, Team Principal of Virgin Racing Formula E Team, said, “I’m absolutely sold on the concept of Formula E and believe that it is a great fit for the Virgin brand.  The accessible nature of the series, with its races being right in the heart of our great cities, should create a wonderful atmosphere. The drive to develop new technology appeals to Virgin, which has always been a pioneering organisation.  I’ve been fortunate to have been involved in a number of such activities over years, from the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer to Virgin Galactic activities that push technological and human boundaries and capture people’s imagination.”

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said, “Having a global brand like Virgin, renowned for their technological innovation and sporting passion, as one of our ten teams is a fantastic addition to the championship and shows their commitment to sustainable mobility.”

The tenth and final addition to the roster is a joint venture between Venturi Automobiles and actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Monaco-based Venturi is developing a range of electric cars, and is the current holder of the world electric land speed record (307 mph). The team also plans to become a constructor from the second season, building its own Formula E car using a powertrain based on the one used in its 3,000 hp Venturi VBB-3.

“Venturi has been a pioneer in electric high performance vehicles for more than a decade and Formula E gives us the fantastic opportunity to further improve our advanced technologies through motorsport, as well as compete all over the world,” said founder Gildo Pallanca Pastor. “It also gives us the chance to be part of a new racing programme with a project that really shares Venturi’s values for clean mobility, innovation in the field of electric propulsion and energy efficiency optimisation.”

“The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles,” DiCaprio said. “Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort.”

“It’s an honour and a pleasure to welcome the Venturi Grand Prix team as the tenth and final team of the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Alejandro Agag. “Gildo is a true pioneer in electric racing. From the desert of Salt Lake to Antarctica, his passion and vision pushes forward the technology barriers of what can be done with an electric car.”

2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship team lineup:

1. Drayson Racing Formula E Team (UK)

2. China Racing Formula E Team (China)

3. Andretti Autosport Formula E Team (USA)         

4. Dragon Racing Formula E Team (USA)

5. e.dams Formula E Team (France)  

6. Super Aguri Formula E Team (Japan)        

7. Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team (Germany)      

8. Mahindra Racing Formula E Team (India)

9. Virgin Racing Formula E Team (UK)        

10. Venturi Formula E Team (Monaco)


Source: Virgin, Venturi

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