McLaren links up with Formula E
BIG HOPES FOR ELECTRIC RACING: Organisers of the Formula E series hope to field a grid of 10 teams and 20 drivers in 2014.
LONDON, England - McLaren is set to provide engines, transmissions and electronics for cars competing in the new Formula E electric series due to start in 2014.
McLaren will join forces with Spark Racing Technology, led by Frederic Vasseur, as part of a consortium to design and assemble the racecars.
NEW TECH FOR RACING
McLaren F1 team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "I'm a passionate believer in the role that motorsport can play in showcasing and spearheading the development of future technologies, and regard the Formula E concept as an exciting innovation for global motorsport.
"McLaren has worked with Frederic Vasseur for many years, and our association has been very successful," he said.
Vasseur set up the ART team, which competed in the 2012 GP2 and GP3 series as Lotus, with Nicolas Todt whose father Jean is the president of the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA).
Lewis Hamilton, who won the 2008 F1 championship with McLaren, raced for ART in the Formula Three Euroseries.
Whitmarsh said: "Working together in Formula E, McLaren's world-class technology and Spark Racing Technology's expert knowledge will combine to allow both companies to stay at the forefront of technical innovation and hopefully open up great opportunities for the racing cars of tomorrow."
McLaren, who build its own sportscars at its Woking headquarters, has diversified into a range of applied technologies in recent years.
It is also the official suppliers of electronic control units to F1 and NASCAR and has developed a 120KW E-motor for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Formula E will be an FIA-sanctioned championship, with the commercial rights licensed to a Hong Kong-based consortium, which aims to hold races in the heart of at least 10 cities around the world.
Organisers said demonstrations of the first cars will start in 2013 before races.