The tenth and final team for the inaugural season of the Formula E Championship has been confirmed as Venturi Grand Prix, backed by French electric car company Venturi and celebrity environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Based in Monaco, the team will be led by DiCaprio and Venturi founder Gildo Pallanca Pastor, along with Bert Hedaya and Francesco Costa.
Venturi Grand Prix now joins fellow Formula E teams Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing from IndyCar; Asia’s China Racing, Mahindra Racing and Super Aguri; and European squads Audi Sport ABT, Drayson Racing, e.dams and Virgin Racing.
The Formula E Championship will run in the heart of 10 of the world's leading cities including Beijing, Los Angeles and London, starting from September of next year. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will use a common chassis known as the Spark-Renault SRT_01E
Peak output of the cars will be roughly 200 kilowatts (270 horsepower). Top speed is limited to 140 mph, in order to preserve battery life. A single charge is expected to see the cars race for between 20 and 30 minutes, which means each driver will have two cars since the driving range of each car only covers half of the hour-long races.
Venturi has been a pioneer in electric high performance vehicles for more than a decade, having been one of the first to launch an electric sports car in the form of the Fetish
. Venturi is also the current holder of the electric car land speed record, which stands at 307 mph
DiCaprio, meanwhile, has long been an advocate of green technology. He sees the Formula E Championship as a great of promoting environmentally friendly vehicles.
“The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles,” the award-winning actor said in a statement. “Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort.”
_______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.