Drayson Racing has officially entered the Formula E championship for electrically-powered race cars, becoming the first team to sign up for the FIA's newest motor racing championship series.
Drayson Racing will run the new Formula E customer racing car in 2014 currently under development by Spark Racing Technology with McLaren developing a drivetrain for it. In total 42 customer cars will be supplied to teams by Formula E Holdings, the Hong Kong-based consortium granted the commercial rights by the FIA to hold races in the heart of at least ten cities around the world, including Rome and Rio de Janeiro.
Drayson Racing will contribute to the testing and development of the initial customer car during 2013, but looking further ahead the team intends to develop its own car for the 2015 season based on the advanced DRT 4X2-640 electric system featured in the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV car that set a new electric record last summer at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Electronics and inductive charging specialist Qualcomm will sponsor the Drayson Formula E, and the two companies will also collaborate on Qualcomm's Halo wireless electric vehicle charging technology.
"We are hugely excited about the prospect of competing in the opening season of FIA Formula E," said the team principal, British businessman and former science minister Lord Drayson. "We aim to be one of the front runners from the start, leveraging the know-how we've built up over the past two years working on electric drivetrains and developing our 200 mph electric Le Mans prototype.
"We believe that FIA Formula E has very significant commercial potential, it will attract new fans and new sponsors to motorsport and is on track to become the world's leading environmentally sustainable global sporting event," Lord Drayson added.
"Today is a very special day for the FIA Formula E Championship," agreed Alexander Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings. "Announcing Drayson Formula E team as the first of the ten teams proposed to take part in the competition is a very important step in the creation of the first sustainable global motor sport championship.
“Having a team like Drayson join our ranks, gives the FIA Formula E a true electric racing DNA, as the British company represents, like no other, the passion for research and technology in the field of green motor sport," Agag continued. "Lord Drayson is a true pioneer in electric racing, and our championship identifies completely with his goals and his ambitions."
While too early to start discussing who would be at the wheel for its two-car team, the Oxfordshire-based Drayson Racing team said that it was already talking to a number of the world's leading racing drivers about competing for them in 2014.