Audi Incorporating Formula E Into a Factory-Backed Program for 2017-2018 Season
Formula E could get a lot more interestingby Robert Moore, on
Formula E is starting to take off in popularity rankings. Sure, electric cars don’t exactly have the soul you find in cars internal combustion engines, but it’s still downright invigorating to watch. If you still don’t believe that Formula E will be around for long, Audi Sport’s next move should put any reluctance in your heart to rest. Audi Sport has had a relationship with Formula E team ABT Schaeffler since the 2014-2015 season, offering up a factory driver and its infrastructure in Neuburg. For the 2016 – 2017 season the relations ship between ABT and Audi Sport will strengthen even more as Audi Sport will be providing financial and technical support. In turn, Audi Sport gets to display the four rings on the sides and rear winds of the ABT Schaeffler FE02 effective immediately.
That’s not all, though, along with this announcement, Audi has announced that it is planning to incorporate Formula E into a factory-backed motorsport program for the 2017-2018 season. This should come as no surprise as electric mobility is a key factor in Audi’s future plans, with its first all-electric vehicle to come in the form of an SUV in 2018. Obviously, there’s no better place to root your electrification plans than Formula E racing.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the Head of Audi Motorsport, said, “Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production. With Quattro drive, we revolutionised rally racing and subsequently set standards in circuit racing as well. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI, and a hybrid race car, so writing motorsport history on several occasions. Now we intend to repeat this in fully electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the hearts of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport a logical partner for us.”
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Why it Matters
Given the fact that Formula E is barely out of the embryonic stage, this is a pretty big move for Audi. Not only will it open the doors for further development and testing of electric technology, but it also gets Audi’s name and logo out there even more. We’ll get to see Audi’s logo on the FE02 as early as September 5 at Donington Park where final testing is taking place before the official start of the season. The first race will be on October 9th in Hong Kong, which will be followed up by Marrakesh in November and Buenos Aires in February. We don’t get to see Formula E here in the U.S. until July of 2017 when the two final races of the year take place in New York.