US Formula E team Andretti Autosport has announced it has signed Frenchman Franck Montagny to compete in the inaugural all-electric FIA Formula E Championship. With a diverse and extensive racing resume, Montagny becomes the first driver announced for Michael Andretti’s two-car Formula E assault.
Although both are new to Formula E for its debut season, the relationship between Andretti and Montagny dates back to 2008 when Montagny competed in the ALMS series with Andretti Autosport, he then returned to the team in 2009 for the IndyCar Series and again for the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Montagny said:
“It is a great honour to be racing again with Andretti Autosport and Michael Andretti. I worked a great deal with the team in 2008 and 2009, and again this year, and working together on this new electric challenge will be exciting. I am convinced that this new fully-electric technology in the automotive industry will become a very important characteristic of our day-to-day lives in the future, and this high-level racing competition will very quickly bring new technical developments just as Formula One did in the past for everyday automobiles.”
In addition to his resume with Andretti Autosport, Montagny boasts 12 starts at the historic Le Mans 24 with four-podium finishes, in addition to five years of Formula One experience with seven grands prix starts. Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, added:
“We’re delighted to welcome Franck Montagny to the FIA Formula E Championship. Franck becomes our seventh driver to join the series alongside Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi at Audi Sport Abt, Jaime Alguersuari and Sam Bird at Virgin Racing and Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna at Mahindra Racing – with plenty more top-level drivers still to be announced.”
Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Racing entirely on temporary city-centre race tracks, it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). The first of 10 races takes place in Beijing around the iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium with the season finale taking place in London on June 27 2015.
Source; FIA Formula E