Donington Park race track was the venue for the official launch of the new ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport FE01 race car ahead of the first official tests for the second season of the Formula E Championship.
Formula E is a ground-breaking FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series. It aims to represent a vision for the future of the motor industry, serving as a framework for R&D around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting clean energy and sustainability.
Leading OE and aftermarket component and automotive systems supplier Schaeffler is the official technology partner of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team which is hoping to build on its successful in the inaugural season. Schaeffler Chief Technology Officer Prof. Peter Gutzmer commented, "Helping to shape the electrification of the automobile is one of our key strategic topics of the future. Schaeffler is an innovation leader in this field, frequently pioneering new ideas. Formula E is bold and visionary, which makes it a perfect fit for us and an ideal complement to our other motor sport commitments.”
The race car was unveiled at Donington which is a central hub for the 10 competing teams in the championship. The ABT drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt were on hand to talk about the new car before putting it through its paces on the track. Unlike last year this will be Formula Es first open championship, allowing teams and manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their own electrical energy innovations with in a set framework. The role of Schaeffler as technology partner will therefore be crucial in improving and developing the powertrain.
This season Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt will line-up on the grid alongside many well known motorsport names including, Jean-Eric Vergne, Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld, Nelson Piquet and Jacques Villeneuve.
The high profile driver line-up, advanced technology cars and exciting racing on City street circuits across the globe, is expected to mean the series takes on a much higher profile in 2015-2016. This was reflected in a great turnout of several thousand spectators who were at Donington to see the tests and get up close to the cars and drivers on a pit walk.
The season kicks off in Beijing on October 17th and runs through to its conclusion in London in the summer of 2016.