Formula E: The season two grid so far

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Preparations for the second FIA Formula E season may already be well underway, but the teams will all come together at Donington Park in England on Monday for the first time since the London ePrix back in June.

The two-day test marks the first official pre-season running ahead of the 2015-2016 campaign, and will see the teams pit their new cars up against each other out on track for the first time.

Ahead of the test, the final pieces of the driver market puzzle have recently been falling into place, so here is a quick run-down of what we know for season two.

Renault e.Dams

The defending champion team is yet to confirm its line-up for season two, and little has been said of Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost. Buemi came close to winning the title in London, only for a spin during the second race to ultimately cause him to lose out to Nelson Piquet Jr. Prost was impressive at times, but too inconsistent to mount a title challenge. Nothing is confirmed, but most are expecting both drivers to be retained by e.dams for season two.

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

ABT was the first team to confirm its line-up for season two, retaining championship contender Lucas di Grassi and German driver Daniel Abt after a solid first campaign.

Amlin Andretti Formula E Team

Amlin Andretti had been expected to continue with its line-up from London in season two, partnering Jean-Eric Vergne with Simona de Silvestro. However, now that Vergne has moved to DS Virgin Racing, one seat remains unclear. De Silvestro is yet to officially be confirmed by the team, but team boss Michael Andretti has been quoted as saying that she will be kept on. The second seat is likely to be shared by a number of Andretti-affiliated drivers, just as we saw in season one.

NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team

NEXTEV was quick to snap up season one champion Piquet for a second campaign, but the other seat still remains unclaimed. Oliver Turvey enjoyed an impressive debut outing in Formula E with the team in London, and may be an option once again.

Dragon Racing

After a hugely impressive first season in the series, Jerome d’Ambrosio has been retained by Dragon Racing, and the Belgian will be keen to build on his fourth-place finish in the standings. His teammate is still to be announced, but a report from motorsport.com claims that Loic Duval will continue with the American team in season two.

DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team

Virgin Racing has joined forces with Citroen-offshoot DS Automobiles for season two, and has made a big statement of intent by securing the servies of Ferrari F1 development driver Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman will race alongside Sam Bird, who stays on with Virgin after an impressive first season in Formula E. Jaime Alguersuari will not return to Formula E for season two due to ongoing medical concerns that forced him out of the London ePrix.

Mahindra Racing Formula E Team

Mahindra is yet to confirm either of its drivers for season two, but change is definitely on the horizon. Karun Chandhok confirmed earlier this week that he would not be returning to Formula E for season two after a difficult first campaign, freeing up one seat. Bruno Senna has not been confirmed, but has taken part in much of the team’s private testing, as shown in a video released by Mahindra earlier this week. Expect the Brazilian to be retained.

Team Aguri

Team Aguri has endured a difficult off-season so far after parting company with title sponsor Amlin (now with Andretti). However, the Japanese team will be hoping to build on its tally of one victory from season one, even if its drivers remain TBC. Pedro de la Rosa tested for the team at Donington Park last month alongside season one driver Salvador Duran, whilst Formula Renault 3.5 driver Tom Dillmann will test in the next few days.

Trulli Formula E Team

Trulli confirmed to MotorSportsTalk earlier this month that no official announcement had been made regarding its driver line-up for season two, but reports claim that Vitantonio Liuzzi will be retained to race alongside Jarno Trulli. After a tough first year in Formula E, the Italian outfit will be hoping for better this time around.

Venturi Formula E Team

Venturi pulled off arguably the biggest driver coup in Formula E’s short history by securing ex-CART and F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve for season two. He will race alongside Stephane Sarrazin, who stays on following the first campaign.

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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