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2013-11-29 10:20

Amlan Chakraborty

READY TO RACE: Mahindra has announced it will also be competing in the 2014 Formula E racing series in September. The Indian company is the eighth team to join the series. Image: Mahindra

NEW DELHI, India - Mahindra Racing will enter the coming Formula E electric racing series in 2014 year with ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok.

The $16.2-billion Mumbai-based Mahindra Group said on Thursday (Nov 28 2013) it had signed an agreement with Formula E Holdings to join the series starting in China in September 2014, with races in 10 leading cities, among the Berlin.

Mahindra is the eighth team to be announced.

'NATURAL STEP'

Group chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra said in a statement: "We strongly believe Formula E can provide an excellent global showcase for our electric vehicle technology."

The group, which manufactures Mahindra Reva electric vehicles, said joining Formula E was a "natural step". "With advanced operations and expertise in electronics, IT, automotive technologies and manufacturing, we are already seeing the fusion of this technology into our EV operations. Racing will further accelerate that trend while Formula E will raise awareness globally about the benefits of electric vehicles."

Chandhok, who drove in F1 with now-defunct Hispania (HRT) and Lotus and has competed at Le Mans, told Reuters he was in advanced talks with Mahindra about a drive: "The first priority was to get the team launched. Formula E is a very interesting concept so we'll see if we can close something out in the weeks to come."

GROWING INTEREST

Mahindra Racing is no stranger in motorsport, having joined MotoGP in 2011.

Formula E Holdings chief executive Alejandro Agag said: "We are very proud to have a major global company such as Mahindra join the FIA Formula E championship. Adding a manufacturer from India to what is already a real global mix of teams is fantastic news. Everything is coming together very well and we look forward to presenting all 10 teams to the FIA World Motor Sport Council in December (2013)."
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