Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna to drive for Mahindra Racing in inaugural FIA Formula E Championship
Karun Chandhok & Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing drivers for the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship pose against a backdrop showcasing the Mahindra Racing Formula E car
Mumbai, India – Monday May 26, 2014. Mahindra Racing today announced that India’s own Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna will be the team’s drivers for the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship. The duo will represent Mahindra when they line-up on the grid at the start of the world’s first ever fully electric championship in Beijing later this year.
Commenting on this development, Dr. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director and President (Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors), said, “Mahindra Racing takes an important step forward on its pioneering journey into electric car racing with the announcement of our driver line-up. We are confident that our participation in Formula E racing would allow Mahindra to remain at the cutting edge of EV technology and help us develop the next generation of electric road cars.”
According to Mr. S P Shukla, Chairman, Mahindra Racing, “Both Karun and Bruno come with very strong racing pedigrees and have successfully competed in a variety of racing series over the past few years. The entire team looks forward to working with both of them to optimize the performance of our racing car over the next few months of testing before the start of racing in September this year.”
Neither Chandhok nor Senna are strangers to international racing fans, both having competed at the top level of the sport in Formula 1. The signing of two such high profile drivers is an indication of Mahindra’s determination to succeed in the first season of Formula E. Representing the only Indian team on the Formula E grid, Chandhok and Senna bring with them a strong working relationship, having already raced as team mates previously in their careers.
Team Principal Dilbagh Gill commented, “Karun and Bruno both represent the perfect balance between experience and youthful enthusiasm for this truly ground breaking championship. I am confident they will do their best to represent Mahindra on the world stage and the entire team is aiming for top results from the start of the championship.”
Preparation for the season is already underway, with the team’s first car having been delivered to Mahindra Racing recently. This brand new Formula E car has already been painted with the team’s new livery - a stunning combination of Mahindra red and the colours of the Indian flag.
"I'm very excited to be a part of the Mahindra Racing line up,” said Karun Chandhok. “Mahindra are showing a lot of commitment to Formula E and it’s very encouraging to see the support of senior members of the group to this programme. To be a part of the only Indian team in this series is a real honour for me.”
He added, “It's also going to be a nice reunion for me with Bruno again. He's one of my closest friends from the racing world, we respect each other and work well together which will be good for the development of the team. The in-city races are going to be a great spectacle and the quality of teams and drivers should ensure some fantastic racing.”
Teammate Bruno Senna added, “I’m very proud to be joining Mahindra Racing. There is a real ambition within the team to be leaders in Formula E from the start. It’s also an exciting prospect to be part of such a revolutionary championship from the beginning.”
“There will be a lot to learn very quickly, both for the teams and drivers, in terms of technology and driving styles and for race fans as Formula E will popularise a new type of motorsport across the world. Of course, I already have a great relationship with Karun which will help us work together and move the team forward very quickly.” he added.
Born: Chennai, India, January 19, 1984
Chandhok has been a leading force in Indian motorsport from the earliest moments of his career. The Chennai born racer was the winner of the first ever Formula Asia V6 Champion, and also the first driver for A1 Team India in the former A1GP Series. Chandhok went on to race in Formula One’s strongest feeder series, GP2 in 2008, the year he was first partnered with Senna. The duo would meet again in 2010 when both made their F1 debut with the HRT team.
Chandhok made a one off appearance in Formula 1 in 2011, at the German Grand Prix for Team Lotus F1 team. In 2012, Chandhok won the inaugural Race of Champions Asia event as part of Team India with Narain Karthikeyan. In 2013, Chandhok competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship, incorporating the prestigious Le Mans 24 hours, becoming the first Indian ever to start the infamous endurance event.
Born: Sao Paolo, Brazil, October 15, 1983
The Senna name is synonymous with international motorsport but Bruno has carved a career in his own right. The Sao Paulo native forged out a strong career in the junior categories culminating in finishing the 2008 GP2 Series as vice champion. Senna began his Formula 1 career in 2010 with the HRT team, in which he was partnered with Chandok. Having gained valuable experience, Senna moved to the Lotus Renault GP team in 2011 as Reserve Driver, being promoted to race driver half way through the season. Senna’s F1 career continued in 2012 when he raced for the Williams F1 team, scoring valuable championship points for the team during the course of the season.
Senna competed in the prestigious Le Mans 24 hours for the second time in 2013, having raced in the event in 2010 and in an action packed season, also raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, American Le Mans Series and Brazilian Stock Car V8s in 2013. Senna continues to race in the FIA WEC in 2014, which will dovetail around his Formula E commitments.
About Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is one of only ten teams – and the only Indian team - to compete in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship. It was also the first Indian team to participate in the FIM MotoGP™ World Motorcycle Racing Championship series in 2011 and the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV) in 2012.
The newly developed Formula E series is the world’s first fully electric racing championship. Commencing in September 2014 through to June 2015, it will be held in 10 of the world's leading cities, including London, Beijing and Los Angeles. In the inaugural season, 10 teams consisting of two drivers each, will go head-to-head, creating a unique and exciting spectacle that is designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans.
This revolutionary racing series will also serve as a framework for R&D around electric vehicles, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting sustainability.
Mahindra Racing’s Formula E team is currently preparing to compete in the series. All teams will run the zero emissions SRT-01E racing car, with its batteries producing 200kw, the equivalent of 270bhp.
Mahindra’s bold decision to take on the world’s best at the highest level of motorcycle racing has won the team a number of prestigious awards in India, including: the NDTV Car and Bike Awards - 'Mobil 1 Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012 and 2013; the Bike India Magazine - 'Motorsport Award', 2013; and 'ZigWheels Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012.
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
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A USD 16.7 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than 180,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.
In 2012, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000 list, a listing of the biggest and most powerful listed companies in the world. In 2013, the Mahindra Group received the Financial Times ‘Boldness in Business’ Award in the ‘Emerging Markets’ category.
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