Mayor of London Boris Johnson keen to make Formula E race annual event

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LONDON – Mayor of London Boris Johnson has expressed his desire to bring an FIA Formula E race to the city every year after trying out one of the cars ahead of this weekend’s season finale.

Johnson played a pivotal role in securing an ePrix in London’s Battersea Park, which will play host to two races this weekend as the inaugural Formula E campaign comes to a close.

In an entertaining publicity event on Friday, Johnson got behind the wheel of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E car for a lap of the circuit, running behind a safety car.

Speaking to reporters just minutes after getting out of the car, the Mayor spoke about the experience and praised series CEO Alejandro Agag for his involvement in setting up the championship.

“It was amazing, amazing!” Johnson said. “I thought I hit a squirrel at one stage but he was quite nimble.

“It’s a wonderful event for London and I congratulate Formula E and Alejandro for everything they’ve done.

“Wandsworth [council] have played a blinder in getting it here in Battersea and let’s make sure we have it every year.”

Johnson also praised the series for the way in which it publicizes electric vehicles, believing it to embody the bid to make London a greener city and reduce carbon emissions.

“What it showcases is our drive to get low carbon vehicles on the street,” Johnson said.

“We’re going to have an ultra-low emission zone in the heart of the city by 2020, taxis by 2018, buses are some of the greenest in the world and it’s part of our campaign to get London electric.”

This weekend’s race in London is the first motorsport event in the capital in over 40 years, and it is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the inaugural Formula E season as one of six drivers is crowned champion.

IndyCar’s Vasser-Sullivan expand into IMSA for 2019

James Sullivan and Jimmy Vasser. Photo IndyCar
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Not even one year after returning to the IndyCar ranks, Vasser-Sullivan Racing is taking AIM at the IMSA world, you might say.

While team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan will continue to partner with Dale Coyne Racing on the IndyCar side, they expanded their holdings Tuesday, announcing a partnership with AIM Autosport to campaign a new two-car Lexus-backed RC F GT3 effort in IMSA’s GT Daytona class.

The new team – named AIM Vasser-Sullivan – will replace 3GT Racing, which was part of Lexus’ sports car program launch in 2016. It will announce its two drivers in the coming weeks, the team said.

“Sulli and I are excited and looking forward to entering a new chapter in our racing careers,” Vasser said in a media release. “I have driven sports cars before, but my career was pretty much limited to the 24 Hours of Daytona, including a ‘class’ win in 1992 and second overall in 2008.

“The AIM Vasser Sullivan team, with the support of Lexus and our sponsors, has the tools to get the job done and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

Lexus has made significant progress in its first two seasons in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, having earned a combined two race wins, five poles and finished third in the 2018 GTD Manufacturer point standings.

Vasser and Sullivan were part of the ownership group of KVSH Racing in IndyCar from 2011 through 2016 before the organization folded.

They also owned Tony Kanaan’s 2013 Indianapolis 500-winning car.

After sitting out the 2017 season, Vasser, a former CART champion, and Sullivan rejoined forces this past February, just before the start of the 2018 IndyCar season, partnering with Coyne to form a satellite team led by driver Sebastien Bourdais, who previously drove for KVSH.

Bourdais kicked off the new team’s effort with a win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He finished seventh in the overall season standings.

AIM Vasser Sullivan will have two home bases for its IMSA program: AIM’s current facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, as well as a new U.S. shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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