FIA opens battery, chassis supplier tender for Formula E season five

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Formula E is set to continue as a single-make chassis and battery series beyond the 2017/2018 season following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva on Friday.

Formula E had originally planned to introduce battery and chassis competition in the future, with a gradual shift away from a single-make series beginning with in-house powertrain production this season.

However, it will now retain a single supplier for both components beyond season five, with the FIA issuing a call for tender.

Williams currently supplies Formula E its batteries, while the chassis are developed by Dallara, with both of their contracts expiring at the end of season four.

The FIA statement said that the decision to stick with a single supplier was largely driven by the push to get cars lasting a full race distance, with the current format featuring a swap mid-race due to the limitations of the technology.

Here’s the statement following the WMSC meeting:

In accordance with the FIA Formula E Championship Technical Roadmap – the objective of which is for each driver to be able to complete the current race distance with the use of only one car – the Formula E Committee and the Electric and New Energy Championships Commission will proceed with two calls for tender. These are:

1. To identify a single provider for batteries from the fifth season onwards

2. To identify a single chassis supplier for the fifth season onwards.

The applicants will be presented for selection at the next World Motor Sport Council.

In other electric racing-related news, the FIA also confirmed that it would be exploring the possibility of creating an eKarting championship.

“Following the growth of interest in electric karting, the World Motor Sport Council acknowledged the intention of the FIA Electric and New Energy Championships Commission to create an FIA eKarting Cup,” the statement said.

“The FIA will launch a call for Expressions of Interest from potential Promoters, single chassis and single electric powertrain suppliers for a future eKarting championship.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III