Venturi Automobiles announced a joint venture with award-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio to enter a team in the new FIA Formula E Championship—the first fully-electric race series beginning in September 2014.
Based in Monaco, the new Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team has been co-founded by DiCaprio and Gildo Pallanca Pastor, founder of pioneering EV manufacturer Venturi Automobiles, together with Bert Hedaya and Francesco Costa.
Formula E is a new FIA Championship using electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225 km/h (140 mph). The series, with 10 teams, will compete in the heart of 10 of the world’s leading cities including Beijing, Los Angeles and London.
Venturi Grand Prix will now be put forward to the FIA for approval as the tenth and final team to enter the new zero emission series. They join international names from around the globe with IndyCar outfits Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, Asia’s China Racing, Super Aguri and Mahindra Racing, and European squads Drayson Racing, e.dams, Audi Sport ABT and Virgin Racing.
The team is centered around Venturi Automobiles, a developer of high performance electric vehicles and the current holders of the world land speed record for an electric vehicle with 495 km/h (307 mph). The team also plans to become a constructor from the second season, building its own Formula E car using a powertrain based on the one used in its 3,000 hp electric streamliner—Venturi VBB-3—unveiled earlier this year in Wendover, Utah, by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.