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

© FIA Formula E

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.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.