Mahindra has announced its driver line-up for the highly anticipated FIA Formula E Racing Championship. India’s Karun Chandhok and Brazil’s Bruno Senna, who have previously teamed up in GP2 racing as well as in Formula One, will drive for the Indian outfit in the inaugural season of the single-seat, electric racing car series.
Talking about these new appointments, Mr. S P Shukla, chairman, Mahindra Racing said, “Both Karun and Bruno come with very strong racing pedigrees and have successfully competed in a variety of racing series over the past few years. The entire team looks forward to working with both of them to optimise the performance of our racing car over the next few months of testing before the start of racing in September this year.
Chandhok and Senna go a long way back having raced together in GP2 series in 2008. Two years later, both of them were reunited as teammates when they scored the drive for Formula One racing team HRT. The two drivers share a good rapport and this is expected to help the team succeed in the championship. The management of Mahindra Formula E team has been handed over to Carlin Motorsport, a British racing outfit which has competed in several different racing championships.
Formula E or the FIA Formula E Championship is a new class of open-wheel auto racing with cars powered by electric motors. Conceived in 2012, the inaugural championship will be held in 2014–15 and is set to begin on September 20, 2014, in Beijing and will cover 10 race tracks across the world.
Although the cars will be identical for the first season, manufacturers would be allowed to develop their own cars from the second season onwards. For the first season, teams will be provided with the Spark-Renault SRT-01E powered by an MGU engine supplied by McLaren which generates 270bhpand is capable of doing 0-100kmph in 3.0 seconds. Each team will have two drivers and be given four cars.
Since acquiring Reva Technologies, Mahindra has been taking the electric vehicle technology quite seriously. At the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, the Mumbai-based manufacturer had showcased the Verito Electric and a two-seater sports car concept, called Halo. Designed and made in India, the Halo will join the e2O in the company’s European line-up by 2016.
Talking about their commitment to development of EV technology, Dr. Pawan Goenka, executive director and president of Mahindra said, “We are confident that our participation in Formula E racing would allow Mahindra to remain at the cutting edge of EV technology and help us develop the next generation of electric road cars.