Monaco: Venturi Automobiles has announced a joint venture with award winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio to enter a team in the new FIA Formula E Championship - the world's first fully electric race series beginning in September 2014.
Based in Monaco, the new Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team has been co-founded by DiCaprio and Gildo Pallanca Pastor, founder of pioneering EV manufacturer Venturi Automobiles, together with Bert Hedaya and Francesco Costa.
Formula E is a new FIA Championship using electric single seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225km/h. The series will compete in the heart of 10 of the world's leading cities including Beijing, Los Angeles and London. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
"The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean energy vehicles," DiCaprio said Monday. "Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort."
Venturi will now be put forward to the FIA for approval as the tenth and final team to enter the new zero emission series. They join international names from around the globe with IndyCar outfits Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, Asia's China Racing, Super Aguri and Mahindra Racing and European squads Drayson Racing, e.dams, Audi Sport ABT and Virgin Racing.
The team is centred around the award winning Venturi Automobiles, a leader in high performance electric vehicles developing a range of sports, urban and utilitarian cars, as well as being the current holders of the world land speed record for an electric vehicle with 495kph (307mph). The team also plans to become a constructor from the second season, building its own car using a powertrain based on the one used in its 3,000hp electric streamliner - Venturi VBB-3 - unveiled earlier this year in Wendover, Utah by Prince Albert II of Monaco.
2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship - Team line-up:
1. Drayson Racing Formula E Team (UK)
2. China Racing Formula E Team (China)
3. Andretti Autosport Formula E Team (USA)
4. Dragon Racing Formula E Team (USA)
5. e.dams Formula E Team (France)
6. Super Aguri Formula E Team (Japan)
7. Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team (Germany)
8. Mahindra Racing Formula E Team (India)
9. Virgin Racing Formula E Team (UK)
10. Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team (Monaco)