The FIA's Formula E World Championship is picking up steam. We reported earlier this week that the series had confirmed a ten-race calendar that would start in 2014 and bring the series to North and South America, Europe and Asia. We also mentioned that Formula E's boss Alejandro Agag was in the process of recruiting teams for the new series, with a particular focus on the front runners of Formula One.

What we didn't know was that Agag was also going after the cream of the crop in other open-wheel series, too. Now comes news that Andretti Autosport will be taking part in the inaugural season of the new championship. Michael Andretti's outfit is the first American team to sign up for the championship, joining the United Kingdom's Drayson Racing and China Racing (we'll let you guess where that team calls home).

On the occasion of the announcement, Michael Andretti himself chimed in to say, "I look forward to further exploring the series and helping build the future of open-wheel racing across the world." Agag is pleased to have an American team in the series, and hinted at further additions in the coming months saying," "As well being the first team from the US, today's announcement now means we have three teams from three different continents and we're looking forward to announcing many more over the coming months."

Andretti, Drayson, and China are set to fill just three of the ten spots for the series first season, so we can expect to hear a lot more as additional teams are confirmed for the 2014 season. A spec car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, will be the used by each team for the inaugural season.
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Andretti Autosport becomes first US Formula E team
Multiple IndyCar champions join new global electric race series

INDIANAPOLIS (July 17, 2013) – Renowned IndyCar team Andretti Autosport, led by racing legend Michael Andretti, has today become the third of 10 teams to sign up to the FIA Formula E Championship – the world's first fully-electric global racing series, beginning in 2014.
The launch, held at the team's headquarters in Indianapolis, was attended by Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoters Formula E Holdings and President, Chairman and CEO of Andretti Autosport Michael Andretti.

Andretti Autosport currently fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series along with multiple campaigns in the Firestone Indy Lights, the Pro Mazda Championship and in the USF2000 National Championship. It is one of the most well-known and decorated teams in US motorsport with four IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the world-famous Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). Michael himself boasts a racing career spanning more than 20 years competing in CART and Formula One with a remarkable 42 victories in CART, a runner-up on five occasions and second on the list of the most IndyCar laps led, just behind his father Mario.

"It's an honour for Andretti Autosport to have been selected as one of the 10 founding Formula E teams for the inaugural season," said Michael Andretti. "I look forward to further exploring the series and helping build the future of open-wheel racing across the world."
Andretti Autosport becomes the third team to join the new zero emission series which will see Formula cars racing on 10 city-centre circuits all around the world. They join UK-based Drayson Racing, who recently set the world electric land speed record, together with China Racing, headed up by the highly-regarded Steven Lu.

Alejandro Agag added: "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Andretti Autosport to the series; a team with an incredible racing pedigree and track record who I have no doubt is going to make a big contribution to the FIA Formula E Championship. It's fantastic too for such a highly-established outfit to show its commitment to sustainable motoring and with two US races on the inaugural calendar – Los Angeles and Miami – I'm sure American motorsport fans will have a lot to cheer come race day.

"As well being the first team from the US, today's announcement now means we have three teams from three different continents and we're looking forward to announcing many more over the coming months."

For the inaugural season, teams including Andretti Autosport will use the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car, built by French-based company Spark Racing Technology, together with a consortium of the leading manufacturers in motorsport including McLaren, Williams, Renault and Dallara – with Michelin being the Championship's Official Tyre Supplier and TAG Heuer the Official Time Keeper.

Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies who are overseeing the systems integration of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, added: "As technical partner to Formula E and as a brand committed to motorsport for over 100 years, it is a great honour for Renault to welcome Andretti Autosport onboard. Andretti Autosport is one of the largest and most respected motorsport organizations in the world and we are delighted of their decision to join us in the new Zero-Emission professional racing series pioneered by FEH. Such great professional teams as Andretti Autosport will further inspire our engineers to develop an amazing race car and create a great show for motorsport fans around the world. With three professional teams now confirmed and more interested, we should soon have a complete grid for any other series to envy."

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      vi_per
      • 1 Year Ago
      I must say, the success of this series would herald a revolution and new technologies in road cars. This is very exciting. Time to short oil?
        rmkensington
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vi_per
        A large portion of the success of F1 and Indy is the sound of the motors. A fan can hear them and well as feel the cars go by. This series can never replicate that, and will never draw the fans. Hybrid drivetrains can give both. Oil is here to stay for at least another 20 years.
          EV Jack
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rmkensington
          Lots of people keep complaining about the loss of all the noisy engines. I know a lot of people that won't go to races because it makes their ears hurt from the sound. If the cars are faster and performing better lap times, then people will eventually want to see the "best cars" and start to gravitate towards them. And kids that are starting to grow up with EVs won't have ANY issue about how much noise a car makes...they'll only be interested in what is the coolest looking and fastest cars. By 2020 and beyond, that will clearly be EVs.
          EV Jack
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rmkensington
          Ron, You're uninformed at best, but most likely a moron. EVs are already passing up ICE cars when they don't have to worry about range. Have you seen that EVs are quickly catching ICE in the Isle of Man TT races, Pikes Peak, they actually are starting to dominate student Formula racing (http://gas2.org/2013/07/15/electric-race-car-wins-formula-student-competition-for-the-first-time/), and they will continue to get better. It will be 7-10 years before they can do a full length F1 race, but they could easily build an EV that could do laps around the ICE cars. They just have more torque across a much wider range which is a huge advantage. You sound like the old "if man were meant to fly he'd have been born with wings" crowd. Do say things that will make you look stupid looking back in 10 years.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rmkensington
          F1 can never replicate the ability to have races in major city centres the way electric cars can. The only small city they use, Monaco, is iconic for that reason. The two sports are different. Get over it.
          Ron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rmkensington
          @EV jack EV's are a waste of time and money, they will never be a competitor or a replacement for gas engines; and you have to be a complete moron to buy one. Our best bet to replace gas powered engines are hydrogen cell cars.. and even in 50 years time the EV race cars will not be faster than the F1 cars of today.
          SilverArrow
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rmkensington
          @Ron Not to mention street courses where F1 ran (Long Beach, Phoenix) and ignoring the fact that several series continue to run on city streets (IndyCar, Pirelli World Challenge, ALMS, etc...) It may well be that motorsport will ultimately turn to electricity, but the smell of spent fuel and cacophony of a crackling engine running down the gears and into a turn will surely be missed. Motorsport will not be the same.
          Ron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rmkensington
          @davemart F1 races in multiple cities on street coarses (Monaco, Valencia Spain, Singapore, Montreal, etc. ) , during the season, and next year they will race around city streets in New Jersey.. .. Not just Monaco....
          pavsterrocks
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rmkensington
          Although I in part agree with you, I think people over time will find that electric motors make their own unique sound that may not be as high in decibels is still quite exciting to hear (and won't require earplugs).
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Dave D
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is AWESOME. Now if we can get them to abandon the silly idea of driving two cars and just do some battery swapping :)
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder if there are any venues large enough to host an indoor event. Maybe just partially indoor. They could drive through a convention center or a stadium such as my hometown's Tropicana field as a part of a larger course. Fans could watch from air conditioned seats. That would be a great way to showcase the uniqueness of the machines.
      Ron
      • 1 Year Ago
      well it sounded great until I read it was a spec car series. No thanks..
        EV Jack
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ron
        I think/hope that is just for the first year while they try to figure things out. They're already talking about the designs from other teams that will be allowed starting in year two, including Bluebird and others.
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