Andretti Sports Marketing to run Formula E race in Miami

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The Andretti Sports Marketing group has been selected as official event organizers for the new FIA Formula E Championship’s Miami street race, which will occur on March 14, 2015. Miami will be one of two U.S. races, along with Los Angeles, for the new all-electric open-wheel series.

In just the last two years, ASM has already made a sizeable footprint in the promoting game between IndyCar, Global Rallycross, and now FE.

“I’m excited that we are serving as the event organizer for the 2015 Miami Formula E race,” said Michael Andretti, CEO for Andretti Sports Marketing. “We at Andretti Sports Marketing are committed to making this event a world class experience and we anticipate a long and great relationship with Formula E.”

“We’re very pleased to be partnering with Andretti Sports Marketing to organize the Miami Formula E race,” FE series CEO Alejandro Agag added. “They bring with them a proven track-record of organizing not just large-scale motor racing events but providing spectators with an all-encompassing experience – just as they have done with the Milwaukee IndyFest with its festival atmosphere, unique infield activities, family-fun rides and live entertainment. This is exactly the type of event Formula E will bring to the streets and people of Miami in spring 2015 and we’re looking forward to putting on a great spectacle.”

ASM continues to promote IndyCar’s Milwaukee IndyFest event, now the ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250, held in August. The Miami race, though, will serve as its second event it will promote as the de facto replacement for the canceled Grand Prix of Baltimore, which ASM promoted for two years. Some of my informal conversations with Andretti have hinted at a greater Formula E presence, as Andretti Autosport will also field a team in the series.

This does raise a few eyebrows about certain actual and potential dates in the Florida markets, though. For one, the ASM group has long been linked to potential promotion of a new IndyCar street race in Fort Lauderdale, but the race has never been placed on an IndyCar schedule.

The March 14 date would seem to go head-to-head with the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the flagship events of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Sebring has not announced its 2015 date yet – it could either fall the 14th or possibly a week later, the 21st – but it won’t lose much of its audience anytime soon and perhaps the difference in distance from central Florida to South Beach will provide for two different audiences.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”