Andretti signs with Formula E
Andretti Autosport announced Wednesday it has signed on as the third team to compete in the environmentally friendly FIA Formula E championship, which will feature electric cars racing in 10 cities around the world beginning in 2014.
Michael Andretti's two-car operation will join China Racing and British-based Drayson Racing as organizations already committed to a field that will have 10 two-car teams competing in each e-Prix.
"We're in the business of racing, and we've been looking for opportunities to diversify, and when we were contacted about this we felt it was something we needed to look into," Andretti told The Associated Press. "The more we looked into it, the more interested we got. We like the relevancy of the series because one of the problems auto racing is starting to face – and is going to face more of in the future – is relevancy.
"I think relevancy is going to be addressed with the electric cars. It's a good way to hook our younger audience into racing, and I'm excited to be involved and be involved at the ground floor."
Andretti plans to run one car for the championship, while his second entry could be a "star car" that uses well-known drivers such as IndyCar reigning champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti or James Hinchcliffe based on their availability.
The races will be held September 2014 to June 2015 for a "winter season" on street courses that run through the heart of major cities around the world.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promoter FEH, said there will be stops in Miami and Los Angeles on the 10-race schedule, making it important to have Andretti involved in the series debut.
"Andretti is a great name in motorsport, and when we launched the championship, we said we wanted to have a geographically diversified grid and for us, the U.S and China are our two key markets in the world," Agag said. "In the U.S., we really need a strong team to lead the way and we think there is no better name than that for America than Andretti."