Andretti-BMW Formula E partnership ‘a match made in heaven’

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HONG KONG – Andretti Autosport executive vice-president JF Thormann believes that the American marque’s new Formula E partnership with BMW is “a match made in heaven”.

Andretti joined Formula E for its maiden season in 2014, but is yet to record a race win and struggled throughout season two after being forced to shelve its in-house powertrain due to software issues.

Andretti was given a boost ahead of this weekend’s season three opener in Hong Kong when a new partnership with BMW was announced last week as part of the German manufacturer’s revised motorsport program.

Speaking on Saturday in Hong Kong, Thormann stressed the importance of manufacturer partnerships to Andretti, the team also working with Honda in IndyCar and Volkswagen in Global RallyCross.

“It means the world to us. Michael Andretti always insists in every discipline that we race and compete, that we form an alliance with an OEM,” Thormann said.

“We understand and respect the fact that they’ll help us win races and be up front. This is a match made in heaven for us.

“To team up with a brand like BMW, for the Andretti brand, it’s perfect. We’re very bullish on this series so we’re looking forward to some victories together.”

BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt was also present in Hong Kong, and echoed Thormann’s belief that it was a natural partnership to forge.

“We obviously don’t have to say anything about the name Andretti and the racing history and the quality of the racing,” Marquardt said.

“So yeah, getting involved, it was a natural step to get together with the team and being a team that is so successful operationally in any category it has been involved in so far was a really good step for us.

“I think also as we’ve already seen, German engineering and American racing, they fit really well together and I’m very sure that this is going to be a very successful partnership.”