China Racing have today announced Nelson Piquet Jr and Ho-Pin Tung as the team’s first ever set of drivers for the Formula E campaign. In addition, regular tester Antonio Garcia will be the team’s reserve driver.
For Piquet Jr, son of three time Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet, he joins the series as a vastly experienced single seater racer, having competed in British F3, Formula 1, GP2 and A1GP. More recently, the driver currently leads the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship.
“I have always enjoyed the challenge of testing myself in a variety of racing formats so I’m delighted to be able to drive in Formula E,” said Piquet Jr. “To be a driver in the very first FIA Formula E championship is a great honour particularly with Team China Racing who are looking to establish themselves in the sport.”
Teammate Tung also comes with considerable pedigree, after becoming the first Chinese driver to test a Formula 1 car back in 2003, before returning to test again in 2009. He has also raced in the Asian Le Mans Series along with IndyCar.
The team’s signing of Tung means that they will have the only driver who could consider the Beijing ePrix as his home race, with most of the first grid now announced.
“It’s great to be one of the drivers with China Racing in Formula E, especially at the opening round in Beijing,” said the Chinese driver. “I tested the Formula E car a few months ago and it’s really a challenge to get used to the electric racing car. I look forward to a fantastic start in Beijing.”
For Steven Lu, CEO of China Racing, the team line up was a logical decision, with Tung’s links to Team China and Piquet Jr’s experience.
“Nelson has proven time and again his ability to perform at the highest level across a range of different racing formats and this was a key factor in our decision to sign him to Team China Racing,” said Lu. “In his tests at Donington Nelson was very quick and we believe the team has signed one of the most talented drivers on the grid. Ho-Pin has been our driver since the start of Team China, I trust he will be a great team-mate with Nelson in the championship, and I wish they could win in Beijing in front of thousands of local fans.”
The China Racing announcement leaves only one driver seat unfilled, with Andretti Autosport yet to announce their second driver to partner Franck Montangy.