Formula E confirms season four entry list, sporting regulations

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Formula E has confirmed its entry list and updated sporting regulations ahead of its fourth season, set to begin in Hong Kong on December 2.

The all-electric series will once again boast a 10-strong grid for season four, with the same outfits that took part in the 2016/17 campaign returning.

The entered teams for 2017/18 are as follows:

  • Andretti Formula E
  • Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
  • Dragon Racing
  • DS Virgin Racing
  • Mahindra Racing
  • NIO Formula E Team
  • Panasonic Jaguar Racing
  • Renault e.dams
  • TECHEETAH
  • Venturi Formula E Team

While on the face of things it is the same as last year’s entry list, there have been three subtle team name changes.

Firstly, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport is now known as Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, reflecting the works backing the team now receives from German manufacturer Audi.

Secondly, NextEV NIO has dropped the ‘NextEV’ portion of its name, reflecting a wider rebrand within its company that was first present in Formula E in Buenos Aires when a new livery appeared.

Last but not least, Dragon Racing has dropped EV manufacturer Faraday Future from its name, having raced last year as ‘Faraday Future Dragon Racing’.

The move comes amid much uncertainty surrounding the future of Faraday Future, but a spokesperson from the company confirmed to NBC Sports that the nature of its relationship with Dragon has not changed.

“Faraday Future continues to maintain its partnership with Dragon Racing in the FIA Formula E Championship,” the confirmation read.

“We continue to honor our commitments as evidenced by our testing for Season 4 in the past few weeks.”

Formula E also confirmed the updates within its sporting regulations, with the following being the most notable changes:

  • Any driver who is not classified in the top ten positions at the end of the race will not be eligible for the point awarded for fastest lap.
  • Elimination of a non-qualifying session when two races take place during the same event.
  • Increase in the number of promotional days from 3 to 6 days per team with a maximum of 3 days on circuit, to promote roadshows.
  • Addition of a practice session day during the season and a practice session day reserved for rookies.
  • Increase of power during the race from 170 kW to 180 kW.

Formula E will embark on a 14-race schedule for season four, with new events in Santiago, Sao Paulo and Rome confirmed as well as two TBA venues, one of which is understood to be Munich in Germany.

Meyer Shank Racing wins Petit Le Mans to take final DPi championship in dramatic finale

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Meyer Shank Racing outdueled Wayne Taylor Racing to win the Petit Le Mans and clinch the championship in a thrilling final race for the DPi division.

Tom Blomqvist, who started from the pole position, drove the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 to a 4.369-second victory over Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

“That was incredible,” Blomqvist told NBC Sports’ Matt Yocum. “I’ve never dug so deep in my life. The adrenaline. I did that for the guys. I was so motivated to win this thing this weekend. But I’ve got to thank everyone on the whole team.”

With co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves, Blomqvist helped MSR bookend its season-opening victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona by winning Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Michelin Road Atlanta.

In between those two victories, the No. 60 earned five runner-up finishes to stay in the thick of the championship hunt and trail WTR’s No. 10 Acura by 14 points entering Saturday’s race.

WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Blomqvist with less than 50 minutes remaining in the 10-hour race.

But a Turn 1 crash between the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a yellow that sent both Acuras into the pits from the top two positions.

Though he entered in second, Blomqvist barely beat Albuquerque out of the pits, and he held the lead for the final 45 minutes.

Blomqvist said he gained the lead because of a shorter fuel fill after he had worked on being efficient in the second-to-last stint.

“The team asked a big job of me with the fuel; I had a big fuel number to hit,” Blomqvist said. “We knew that was probably our only chance. The yellow came at the right time and obviously we had a bit less fuel to fill up, so I was able to jump him and then it was just a matter of going gung-ho and not leaving anything on the line. And obviously, the opposition had to try too hard to make it work. I’m so thankful.”

Albuquerque closed within a few car lengths of Blomqvist with 14 minutes remaining, but he damaged his suspension because of contact with a GT car in Turn 1.

It’s the first prototype championship for Meyer Shank Racing, which also won the 2021 Indy 500 with Castroneves.

“We’ve had in the last four years, three championships for Acura, the Indy 500 win and the Rolex 24, it doesn’t get any better,” team co-owner Mike Shank told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee.

It’s the third consecutive runner-up finish in the points standings for Wayne Taylor Racing, which won the first Daytona Prototype international championship in 2017. The premier category will be rebranded as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with the LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third in the No. 48 Cadillac of Action Express that also includes Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

The podium showing marked Johnson’s last scheduled race in IMSA’s top prototype division. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has raced in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac lineup as the Action Express entry has run the Endurance Cup races.

Johnson said a lack of inventory will preclude him having a 2023 ride in the top category. But he still is hopeful of racing the Garage 56 Next Gen Camaro in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly running in a lower class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’d love to be at Le Mans next year,” Johnson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his final stint Saturday. “I’d love to be at the Rolex 24. The series is going through a shake-up with the reconfiguration of the rules and classes, so I don’t have anything locked down yet, but I’m so thankful for this experience with Action. The support Ally has given us, Mr. Hendrick, Chad Knaus, all of Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a fun two years, and I certainly hope I’m on the grid again next year.”