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FIA Formula E confirms nine homologated manufacturers from 2018

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The fifth season of the FIA Formula E Championship is hailed as a landmark season for the emerging electric, open-wheel series. The next round of technological enhancements will see the cars drop from two cars used to one per race, to go along with advances to the powertrain, and that will fall into line with the new cycle of homologation for the chassis and battery.

Nine manufacturers have been homologated for that three-year period starting with season five, 2018-2019, through to season seven of 2020-2021.

Confirmed manufacturers are:

  • ABT Formel E
  • BMW AG
  • DS Automobiles
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Mahindra Racing
  • NextEV NIO
  • Penske Autosport
  • Renault
  • Venturi Automobiles

Noteworthy here is the inclusion of Penske Autosport as a name – Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing team, in partnership with Faraday Future, has been on the grid since the series’ inception but not with the Penske name.

Additionally, Mercedes isn’t present at the moment. Mercedes signed an agreement in October 2016 where it had the option to enter the championship for season five. The lack of Mercedes being listed here does not mean they won’t race but it could mean it’s just a customer entry.

Alas, the significant increase in manufacturer involvement speaks to the growth of the championship and has exceeded Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag’s forecasted predictions.

“The mission of the FIA Formula E Championship is to act as a platform to advance the development of electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions – this hinges on the participation of automotive and component manufacturers,” Agag said in a release.

“When we launched the series in 2012, we had forecast to secure at least three manufacturers by season Five. The news today has highlighted the number and quality of manufacturers joining the championship and tripling our initial expectations. This just goes to show the relevance of Formula E to the motor industry and as an attractive proposition to new audiences and commercial partners, such as the recent agreement with Allianz.”

Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.