Allan McNish leads Audi Formula E 27 | 09 | 2017

    SCOTLAND’S THREE-TIME Le Mans 24-Hours winner and former World Endurance champ, Allan McNish, will lead Audi’s pioneering path into the world of electric car racing. (Related: Watch our video of the new Audi Formula E racer) The 47-year-old from Dumfries has been unveiled as Team Principal of Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, as Audi becomes the first German car maker to enter Formula E. (Related: New TV deal for Formula E)

    At the team’s launch in Munich this evening, McNish — who twice won Le Mans with Audi, and once with Porsche, and will now have overall responsibility for Audi’s first all-electric single-seater race programme — highlighted the strong position of Formula E.

    “Right now, Formula E is on a very positive upward trend,” he said, “and the momentum is pretty strongly behind it from a growing number of manufacturers. (Related: New limited edition rear-wheel drive Audi R8)


    “Formula E is an indicator of where we are going in the future in terms of driving and racing, and I am under no illusion of the importance and significance of leading Audi’s first factory-backed assault on the all-electric championship.”

    McNish has been overseeing Audi’s support of the Abt Sportline team in Formula E for the past 12 months. Audi has now taken over the entry previously held by Abt.

    But such has been their combined success, that the new Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team will start Season 4 in Hong Kong on December 2 as defending champions.


    The 2016/17 title was won by the team’s No1 driver Lucas di Grassi. For the forthcoming 2017/18 season — which finishes in Montreal next July — the Brazilian will again be joined by German Daniel Abt.

    By entering Formula E, the world’s only all-electric world championship, Audi joins fellow car makers Jaguar, and French manufacturers Renault and DS Automobiles. BMW will join in Season 5, before Mercedes and Porsche enter in Season 6.


    And McNish, who is also president of the Scottish Motor Racing Club, is relishing the chance to pioneer a new path for the German car maker in the world’s cleanest motorsport championship.

    "The motorsport and automotive worlds are changing, and electric cars have a pivotal role to play in the evolution not only of transport, but of the sport I love,” McNish stated.


    “Being charged with leading Audi’s first all-electric race car team is a challenge, but it’s one I’m looking forward too.

    “In Formula E, the teams and manufacturers are allowed to develop the powertrain consisting of the motor, transmission, parts of the suspension and the respective software. (Related: New Audi Q2 2.0TFSI quattro)


    “The combination of the motor and transmission is the centerpiece of our all-new Audi e-tron FE04 race car.

    “Through time, much of this new technology will evolve into the road-going cars you and I will drive in everyday traffic.”

    McNish is also fully aware of the role motorsport has to play in the changing evolution not just of the sport, but of automotive transport as we know it.


    “The automotive landscape is changing, with the current move towards electric cars,” McNish continued. “Motorsport needs to be a part of the solution, and in that, Audi’s commitment has clearly been that it wants to be at the front of the solution, and developing the new technologies, as it has done in the past.


    “The car industry is very aware that it needs to evolve, and will evolve. The numbers that are envisaged in electric cars within the next 10 years is very significant. Therefore we, as car manufacturers, need to be part of that. And Formula E will help power Audi towards that growth.”

    Related: Scot Graham Carroll aims for $200k sim racing glory with Formula E

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    Jim McGill


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