Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Formula E's schedule approved by FIA, and catching up with other series news

The FIA Formula E World Cup electric car racing series has been up to a lot of actions, which I've not kept up with.  The most recent is that the FIA has approved their 2014 proposed schedule, and before that they approved several teams and a media partner.

An asterisk at the bottom of the press release says that all tracks remain subject to "FIA Track Homologation."  Meaning, that the schedule could change again if one of the cities aren't able to construct a track that satisfies the FIA.

Some other news:

TV Asahi acquires Japanese broadcasting rights for Formula E: The Japanese broadcast network will have broadcasting rights in Japan, joining FOX Sports as confirmed broadcasters.

Indian manufacturer Mahindra Racing signs as eighth Formula E team: Mahindra is a giant manufacturer in India that makes a lot of vehicles, including a line of electric cars (the Reva).   The company already has a motorsports team racing in the MotoGP, so maybe by getting into electric motorsports they might eventually join electric motorcycle racing?  Mr S P Shukla, Chairman, Mahindra Racing and President of Group Strategy said: “We are very excited about our new adventure with Formula E. Mahindra Racing is relatively young, but we have seen how racing delivers benefits to our organisation, not only from the brand perspective, but equally in terms of technology advances and motivation. This is an excellent addition to our racing portfolio and we are looking forward to a successful future in Formula E.”

Formula E car completes successful test debut:  They took the SPARK-Renault SRT_01E to the La Ferté Gaucher circuit near Choisy-le-Roi, France. Frédéric Vasseur, President of Spark Racing Technology, said: “Everything went very well and it was a very positive maiden run for the Spark-Renault SRT_01E. The car ran for around 40 laps with no issues straight out of the box, which looks good for the overall reliability. We were also running with a much smaller battery than we will use – just 25% of the full power - which again gives us confidence going forward. The next test is planned for the coming weeks where we want to increase the mileage on the car, working our way up to a full race simulation.”

SRT_01E makes Asian debut at Tokyo Motor Show: “I am very excited to be a part of the Driver’s Programme for the development of the Formula E cars,” said Japanese former Formula One driver Takuma Sato who will be one of several top drivers used to help develop the SRT_01E. “This series provides a huge potential for the future of motor racing and electric cars.

ABT Sportsline to compete in Formula E under Audi Sport banner: This is a German team who will race as under the banner ‘Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team’ because they had raced as an Audi factory team in the popular international touring car series DTM. “We’re proud to have the opportunity to take part in the debut of this new racing series. Participating in the new FIA Formula E Championship marks a completely new chapter in our more than 60-year motorsport history,” said Hans-Jürgen Abt. “As a company that has been active in the field of regenerative powertrains and electric mobility we’re convinced of the series’ concept. It’s innovative, delivers motorsport at the highest level and a great show for fans around the world – all of which are a perfect fit for ABT Sportsline.”

EY report forecasts Formula E to contribute to significant sales increase in EVs: We certainly hope this is true:  "the new zero emission race series will help contribute to the additional sale of 77 million Electric Vehicles (EV) worldwide over the next 25 years (2015–2040)."  Somehow they think the series will contribute to removing barriers to the EV market: pricing and technology.  Juan Costa Climent, EY Global Climate Change & Sustainability Services Leader, commented: "EY has undertaken rigorous analysis into the state of the global electric vehicle market, the challenges it faces, and the opportunities the technology can bring in terms of cost savings and environmental benefits. Our research has shown the huge potential that Formula E has to accelerate not only the technology, but also to breakdown many of the misconceptions around electric vehicles. With an estimated 77 million more electric vehicles on the road by 2040, as a result of Formula E together with all its stakeholders, today's unveiling of the latest racing car technology is the first step in an exciting journey for the industry."

Super Aguri joins FIA Formula E Championship as sixth team: This Japanese team is associated with Suzuki and has a lot of experience in Formula One racing. “Today is a new chapter for the Super Aguri name and I’m proud that our team will represent Japan in the inaugural Formula E series,” said Aguri Suzuki, Executive Chairman of Super Aguri Formula E. “Zero emissions racing is a progressive concept for the motorsport industry, and after more than 40 years as both a driver and team owner, I see Formula E as a great stride towards the future. Japan has always been at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation and technology and our participation in the series will enable us to promote and develop electric vehicle technology not just in our region, but also on a global scale."

2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship – Calendar:
Round 1 - Beijing, China, 13th September 2014                                              
Round 2 - Putrajaya, Malaysia, 18th October 2014                                    
Round 3 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 15th November 2014
Round 4 - Punta del Este, Uruguay, 13th December 2014
Round 5 - Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10th January 2015
Round 6 - Los Angeles, USA, 14th February 2015
Round 7 - Miami, USA , 14th March 2015
Round 8 - Monte Carlo, Monaco, 9th May 2015 
Round 9 - Berlin, Germany, 30th May 2015
Round 10 - London, UK, 27th June 2015

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