Monday, August 12, 2013

Formula E signs racing champion Gil de Ferran as Formula E Ambassador

Gil de Ferran is a 20+ year veteran of motorsports having won several championships including the IndyCar (twice) and Indianapolis 500.  The Formula E electric car racing series announced today they'd signed him up for two roles.  The first role is "Ambassador" and "spokesman" for the series, primarily in North America.  The second role is as advisor for the racing format.

I've written it up in more depth over on TorqueNews.com.

The importance to this is it's further demonstration that the Formula E organizers are looking to traditional motorsports people or organizations to form the structure of the racing series.  Other than the guys from Formulec, and Drayson Racing, there has been no indication they're reaching out to the existing electric vehicle fanatics to build cars or race teams.  Instead, this is an electrification of existing racing.

I believe I met this guy back in 2010.  I'd been invited to observe that years IndyCar race at the track which was then known as Infineon Raceway and is now known as Sonoma Raceway and originally known as Sears Point.  That year IndyCar wanted to crow a bit about how they were using Ethanol to power the cars, and my oh my isn't that green.  I spent a couple hours hanging out with someone from the Andretti Motorsports team, and he showed me how the whole system runs in the pit area.  Afterward we met with one of the racers down in pit row, and chatted about the cars etc.  I believe that racer was Gil de Ferran.  Nice guy.

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