As the opening race of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship season draws closer, more and more teams are starting to firm up their driver line-ups for the revolutionary new series.
On Wednesday, July 2, both Dragon Racing, the Los Angeles-based motorsports team, owned by media and publishing entrepreneur Jay Penske, and Amlin Aguri announced their pilots for the high tech electric wonder.
Dragon Racing introduced Mike Conway, an experienced street racer and multi-race winner in the IndyCar Series, and 2014 driver with TOYOTA for their LMP1 WEC program, as one of their drivers in the all-electric championship. Conway’s previous experience includes three seasons in GP2, and as a Formula 1 test driver for Honda Racing F1 Team.
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that I will be at the wheel of the Dragon Racing entry in the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Mike Conway. “I have been very interested in Formula E since it was announced and I am proud to be involved with both Jay and Dragon Racing, in what I believe is breaking new ground in motorsports. I am very confident we can achieve great results during this first season.”
Dragon Racing first began in 2006 under the original banner of Luczo Dragon Racing founded by both Penske and Steve Luczo, Chairman and CEO of Seagate Technologies. In May of 2007, Dragon Racing made their debut at the Indianapolis 500 finishing an impressive fifth with Ryan Briscoe. Two years later they completed their first full IndyCar season claiming Rookie of the Year with Raphael Matos. Last year Dragon Racing fielded two cars in the IndyCar Series, with drivers Sebastian Saavedra and four-time Series champion Sébastien Bourdais.
Jay Penske, Owner of Dragon Racing, said: “I have always been impressed by his talents, smarts, and performance in the IndyCar Series, and we feel that the combination of his experience, tenacity, and driving skills will be a force this year in the FIA Formula E Championship.”
Also announced today, Amlin Aguri introduced Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa, who will join the team for its inaugural FIA Formula E Championship season. Felix da Costa will participate in Thursday’s first public test for the squad before linking up on Friday with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Team where he will continue as the team’s reserve driver at the British Grand Prix this weekend.
“I am delighted to compete in the Formula E inaugural season and I am proud to have been chosen by Amlin Aguri," Antonio Felix da Costa added. "I am thrilled by what I believe is the championship of the future. With Formula E we see history being made and I’m excited to be right at the heart of this new project. I have no doubt we’ll see this championship drive real innovation and advances in technology. What’s special about our team is the expertise from Amlin. They have core skills in analysing complex data and we’ll be using these skills to produce strategies that will help drivers like me win these races. That’s really important for this new format where the circuits are on city streets and the technology means new team skills are needed. I am confident Amlin Aguri will be out there at the front right from the start.”
The 22-year-old is no stranger to the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car having driven for the outfit during a shakedown held in early June at the Donington Park Racing Circuit.
“It’s a pleasure for me to welcome Antonio into the new setup at Amlin Aguri," said Mark Preston, Team Principal. "Antonio has proven he’s prodigiously quick at all levels of motorsport, from testing in F1 to winning races in Formula 3. I’m confident the drivers we are assembling will make Team Amlin Aguri a serious podium threat and a force to be reckoned with.”
Felix da Costa's breakout season came in 2012 when he won the prestigious Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix from pole position. He also finished fourth overall in World Series by Renault after winning four races out of the six he entered in the nine round series.
He now becomes the second driver to join Amlin Aguri, following the arrival of Katherine Legge.
So far, the following drivers have been confirmed in the 2014-2015 FIA Formula E Championship:
Amlin Aguri Formula E Team: Antonio Felix da Costa // Katherine Legge
Andretti Autosport Formula E Team: Franck Montagny // TBC
Audi Sport Abt Formula E Team: Lucas di Grassi // Daniel Abt
China Racing Formula E Team: TBC // TBC
Dragon Racing Formula E Team: Mike Conway // TBC
e.dams-Renault Formula E Team: Sebastien Buemi // Nicolas Prost
Mahindra Racing Formula E Team: Bruno Senna // Karun Chandhok
Trulli Formula E Team: Jarno Trulli // Michela Cerruti
Venturi Formula E Team: Nick Heidfeld // Stephane Sarrazin
Virgin Racing Formula E Team: Sam Bird // Jaime Alguersuari
Expect more announcements in the coming days and weeks, as the teams prepare for the first event in the all-electric series which starts in Beijing on September 13 and races around the iconic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic stadium.