livery ensemble of Virgin Red and Chocolate Purple, is nevertheless relatively
pleasing eye candy.
BATTERY RECHARGE - 5 December 2013
Virgin became the ninth team to enter Formula E grid late in 2013. Virgin, one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands, have today (5 December) announced it will be entering a team in the new fully-electric FIA Formula E Championship after signing an agreement with series promoters Formula E Holdings.
Based in the UK, the Virgin Racing Formula E Team will be headed by Team Principal Alex Tai and has the backing of Virgin founder Sir
Branson. Both have been involved in a number of pioneering technology projects in aviation, space and more recently racing.
“The launch of the FIA 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 Sir Richard 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.”
Virgin Racing will now be put forward to the FIA for final approval as the ninth of ten teams to enter the new zero emission championship, racing in 10 city-centres around the world. They join IndyCar outfits Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, Asia’s China Racing, Super Aguri and Mahindra Racing, and European squads Drayson Racing, e.dams and Audi Sport ABT.
Team Principal Alex Tai 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.”
“We have hugely exciting plans and over the next nine months will be revealing new parts to our story on a regular basis, so I’d ask fans and the commercial world alike to ‘watch this space.’”
Alejandro Agag, CEO Formula E Holdings, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Racing Team to Formula E and for them to have chosen the FIA’s new global electric race series to make their return to top-flight motor sport. 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.
“Today’s announcement now means we just have one team left to announce before the grid for the inaugural 2014/2015 Formula E season is complete.”
NEWS Thursday 05 December 2013
The electric car tournament, once dubbed the
"milk float challenge" gets set to launch in Beijing next year.
Sir Richard Branson has announced his entry back into motor racing as part of the new Formula E electric car championship.
The entrepreneur is putting a team together to take part in the inaugural 10-race championship starting in Beijing next September and ending in London in June 2015.
Formula E is described as a fully digital sport that aims to improve the image of electric cars and spark innovation in the industry.
A computer game will allow people to take part in each race in real-time and fans will be able to give their favourite driver a speed boost by voting through a smart phone app during the race.
Formula E cars have a top speed of around 150mph, generate half the engine noise of petrol-engine cars and produce zero emissions on track.
Sir Richard said: "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.
"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."
Sir Richard last competed in top-flight racing in the 2010 (Virgin Racing) and 2011 (Marussia Virgin Racing) Formula One seasons, though the team failed to score any points.
Virgin became the ninth team to sign up to Formula E, which was once dubbed the "milk float challenge" by sceptics.
Now championship organisers say they have their 10th and final team in place, funded by a mystery Hollywood A-lister yet to be announced.
Another team will be fronted by four-times F1 champion Alain Prost.
Formula E chief Alejandro Agag told Sky News: "It's gaining huge momentum. Of course there are critics and there are also people who may feel threatened, with no reason.
"But we think we will convince those critics ... there is definitely a space for this kind of racing."
Electric car manufacturers are hopeful the championship will spark interest in electric cars.
Sales are at an all-time high in the UK and Nissan is one of the main dealers.
However, the company has downgraded its sales targets citing a lack of charging points as being a turn-off for potential buyers.
The Government says it has installed 10,000 charge points, but Nissan, Tesla and other manufacturers have announced plans to build their own to get things moving faster.
E: TEAMS, EVENTS & CARS
Super Prix return and the Formula E series
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