Formation of Andretti Technologies confirmed ahead of FIA Formula E finale

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LONDON – Ahead of the finale for the inaugural FIA Formula E season in London this weekend, Andretti Autosport has announced the formation of Andretti Technologies, a new company focusing on new innovations and advanced engineering.

The second Formula E season will see eight of the teams design their own powertrains working as manufacturers, with Andretti being granted this status back in January.

In a press conference in London ahead of this weekend’s ePrix, the formation of Andretti Technologies was confirmed in partnership with TE Connectivity. The latter’s colors will don the Andretti Formula E cars this weekend.

Andretti Technologies will be chiefly responsible for the design and production of the powertrains used by the Andretti Formula E Team from season two, which is set to kick off this fall.

“On behalf of Michael Andretti, who regretfully can’t be here today, I am proud and pleased to announce for you the formation of our newest company called Andretti Technologies,” executive vice president J.F. Thormann said on Friday.

“Andretti Technologies will serve as the advanced engineering arm across all of the Andretti companies.”

Director of motorsport development Roger Griffiths echoed Thormann’s thoughts, and explained how Andretti would be working alongside TE Connectivity.

“We are very excited about the new partnership between Andretti Technologies and TE,” Griffiths said. “We believe we have found a company that not only matches our passion for innovation and engineering in the arena of electrified vehicles but also shares our competitive spirit on the track too.

“A relationship that originally started on the racetrack in Indianapolis and has grown ever since, we are very proud to have TE continue to be part of the Andretti family.”

The new partnership will see the Andretti Formula E cars race with TE Connectivity branding this weekend and during pre-season testing in England over the summer.

“The livery on the car we have today is what we’ll have through this weekend and through the testing programme,” Griffiths said.

“As we move to season two, we’re sure we’ll see some updates on that, and that could potentially be the source of more exciting announcements to come.”

After eating just one chip, NHRA drag racer says: ‘I seriously thought I was going to die’

Alex Laughlin official Instagram page
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Editor’s note: Due to rain, Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA Carolina Nationals have been postponed to Monday morning at 10 a.m. ET. In the meantime, check out this rather unusual tale:

Remember the old Lays Potato Chips commercial from back in the 1980s that bragged “No one can eat just one”?

Well, ask NHRA Pro Stock driver Alex Laughlin and a few members of his team, and they’ll tell you they learned a very valuable lesson that there indeed IS a chip that you can only eat one of.

According to NHRA’s National Dragster, Laughlin and Elite Motorsports crew members Chase Freeman, Kelly Murphy and Brian Cunningham took part Friday night in the Paqui One Chip Challenge.

If you haven’t heard of the Challenge, Paqui Chips has produced a tortilla chip that the company boldly claims is the hottest chip ever made anywhere in the world. The secret is the “Carolina Reaper” pepper, considered the hottest chili pepper in the world, with a rating of 1.9 million Scoville units, according to PuckerButt Pepper Company.

How hot is 1.9 million Scoville units? Let’s put it this way: the Devil might even have a hard time taking this kind of heat. By comparison, a Jalapeno pepper only reaches 10,000 units on the Scoville rating. 

So while they were enjoying some downtime Friday night after the first two rounds of qualifying for the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina (suburban Charlotte), Laughlin and Co. paid $30 for one chip – you read that right, $30 for one chip, it’s THAT hot – and thought they could take the heat.

They thought wrong.

“This is the hottest chip in the world,” Laughlin said on an Instagram post that documented the entire experience, adding a warning, “What to expect: Mouth on fire, short-term loss of speech, impaired vision from tears, extreme profanity — or death.”

View this post on Instagram

Never. Ever. Again.

A post shared by Alex Laughlin (@alexlaughlin40) on

 

Laughlin’s post also includes several reader comments that Laughlin and his crew should have had milk on hand instead of water to try and cool things down because milk has a natural antidote to cool your mouth down after eating hot food.

Sunday morning, with his mouth and throat still a bit sore, Laughlin recalled the red-hot episode to National Dragster’s Kevin McKenna:

Never again. Never. Ever. Ever,” Laughlin told McKenna. “It was definitely not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

One of our guys showed me a You Tube video and it looked like it wasn’t going to be too bad. I like spicy food and it’s usually never a problem. I’ve been to those places with hot wings where you have to sign a waiver before you eat them and that’s never been a problem.

But this? This is on a whole different level. I thought it might last ten minutes. Fourteen hours later, I was still in bad shape. I woke up at 3 a.m. and Googled “internal bleeding.” I seriously thought I was going to die. We all did.”

So if the heat from the chip was off the hotness Richter scale, where did the stunt rank on Laughlin’s own personal Richter scale?

I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.

Well, I really didn’t think it would be that bad,” Laughlin told McKenna with a shrug. “I mean, it’s just one tortilla chip. Like I said, I can usually eat stuff that other people won’t eat, but I had no idea what I was in for.

“I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.”

If you’re up for another challenge in the future that involves eating hot food, Alex, here’s a suggestion: Even though it’s a few years old now, maybe you should try the Ice Bucket Challenge (but fill it with milk) to cool down quick. Just a thought.

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