Breaking news is flying left, right and centre as changes are announced ahead of season 7 and beyond. Envision Virgin Racing have found a new driver to replace Sam Bird and ABB announce some very exciting news for the Gen3 cars.
Starting with the news of who will be filling Bird’s seat next season at Envision Virgin Racing, we find Japanese Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy will be his replacement. Cassidy, at just the age of 25, will have achieved the triple crown of Japanese motorsport before joining Robin Frijns to drive for the British team. Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director, put his word in to express his happiness at the teams plans for the future. “As a team, it is always important to look ahead to ensure our long-term success. In Nick we know we have a very ambitious, capable driver with raw talent, speed and race craft, as well as an impressive track record for his age. Moving to become a world championship next season, we know Formula E is going to be as competitive as ever, but from his short time with us we are confident – together with Robin Frijns – we have two drivers that can compete at the sharp end to win championships.”
Cassidy, who resides from New Zealand, has gained many achievements throughout his racing career such as Japanese Super GT, Formula 3 and Super Formula titles. Something that would have been very notable for the tea, was Cassidy’s capabilities at the Rookie Test back in March as he set a new lap record in Marrakesh in the Gen2 car. Speaking of the opportunity he has been given, Cassidy explains his pride in taking on the new venture, “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to be joining Formula E and Envision Virgin Racing from next season,” said Cassidy. “The team is one of the most successful on the grid, have a great set-up and facilities, and have continually impressed me since I joined them for the Rookie Test back in March. All drivers know the depth and quality of the field in Formula E is among the best in the world, so it is great to be adding my name to this roster. Racing in Japan has been an amazing experience and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to achieve so much in a short space of time, but I feel it’s now time for the next challenge in my career and I’m very much looking forward to doing that with Envision Virgin Racing and Formula E.”
Continuing on the subject of Formula E’s future, it was announced today that ABB would provide the charging technology for the Gen3 cars in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. A virtual event was held today with participants such as ABB Electrification President Tarak Mehta; Daniela Lužanin, ABB Formula E Head of Partnership; Alejandro Agag, Founder & Chairman of Formula E and Jamie Reigle, Chief Executive Officer of Formula E. During this event, it was agreed that ABB would continue their huge partnership with the electric motorsport series and supply the charging stations as of season 9 (2022-2023). Together with engineers from motorsport governing body the FIA and Formula E, ABB’s Electrification teams are currently working on the specifications and requirements to develop an innovative and safe solution for charging the Gen3 cars through portable charging units that can charge two cars simultaneously.
Many of the high profile names who attended the event spoke about their pleasure for the partnership and what this means for the future. “The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is more than a race – it is our test-bed for innovative electromobility technologies, driving development to the production line of electric vehicles and ultimately contributing to a cleaner environment for all,” said Mehta. “We are very proud to be associated with Formula E and the FIA’s decision to elevate the race series to World Championship status in Season 7 enhances Formula E’s growing impact.”
“Since ABB joined as the FIA Formula E Championship’s title partner in Season 4, they have worked closely with us to develop the series as a proving ground for race-to-road technology development that promotes our founding purpose of accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles to counteract climate change. We are looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together through our long-term partnership,” said Agag.
“As Formula E builds on the first successful phase of our partnership with ABB, we are delighted to extend our relationship through a deeper level of integration in Gen3. ABB will provide critical charging technology that will improve the racing product and showcase the potential of enhanced charging capabilities for electric vehicles,” said Reigle.
With Formula E becoming a World Championship sport from Season 7 (2021-2022), this shows how the times are changing and the electric motorsport is being recognised more and more. Formula E has become extremely fast growing and will continue to do so throughout the coming years. Season 6, which begins in just 20 days time (due to the Coronavirus pandemic halting proceedings), is sure to be a very interesting one with 6 races in the space of 9 days all being held at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.
Be sure to check back with Overtake Motorsport for the ever changing news and for updates on all the different forms of motorsport.
Feature Image Credit: ABB Group Twitter Page