The Electric GT Championship is set to launch a crowdfunding initiative, according to series CEO Mark Gemmell.
The series, which is aiming to become the world’s first 100 percent zero-emission GT championship, was due to start this month at Paul Ricard.
However, delays to those plans which have included ongoing negotiations with the FIA regarding a sanctioning for the championship, have caused the initial calendar to be modified.
Gemmell said at the recent “Day of Light” event held a Circuit Pau-Arnos in France, that the crowdfunding plans are designed to expand the attractiveness of its future investment.
“Crowdfunding is a modern way of financing a business,” Gemmell told e-racing365. “Crowdfunding works for certain things but it’s a surprise for some industries.
“Motorsport is one of them. Motorsport is quite traditional and funding comes from wealthy people who want to throw money at the sport.
“We’re trying to do things differently, we’re open to new technology and new ways of doing business and we think that crowdfunding represents a great way to expand the people involved in our championship way beyond a few lucky investors.”
A financial target of $3 million has been devised by Gemmell, as his team aim to make their plans a reality for 2018.
“We’re aiming to launch it within the next few weeks,” he said.
“At the moment we have a target of three million and we have one million promised already, so it’s already going well but the point of it is a global pool of investors that can come in with small amounts.”
Summer 2018 Start Targeted
Gemmell said a summer 2018 start for Electric GT is now planned.
“There’s a lot of processes to go through before we can race in any serious manner in Europe,” he said.
“You can set up a race somewhere and don’t care too much about the approvals but we want to do this properly and that seems to be coming to a conclusion this December. Then we will be looking to close all the team agreements in the space of few months.
“We would like to be starting racing in the summer of 2018. September is definite, but honestly we would like to be starting earlier.”
EGT announced last week that SPV Racing is the first team to commit for the first season of racing. The Michelin Le Mans Cup entrant confirmed two cars, one of which will be raced by Alvaro Fontes.
Revolutionary Bodywork and Potential Manufacturers
EGT has managed to get a number of partners on board in recent months, with its latest supplier announced last week as Bcomp, a company specializing in natural fiber technology.
Bcomp has developed lightweight renewable natural fiber composite body panels that will save more than 20 percent of weight in the next-generation of Electric GT’s Tesla race car, which is based on the P100D model.
The company is also carrying out development of LED displays fully integrated into panels that present live information directly on the exterior of a racing car.
Despite a pool of partners including brands such as Pirelli or DHL, EGT has yet to attract manufacturer involvement.
Gemmell believes that new EV start-ups are the ones so far willing to take an interest.
“We had early conversations with many of the big manufacturers but there’s still a reluctance to recognize the glaring and obvious truth that the future is electric,” he said. “It’s not hybrid, it’s not hydrogen but it’s 100 percent electric.
“What players in the industry are willing to accept that change? Probably the ones that are new to the industry and we’re finding that to be the Chinese and far eastern manufacturers.”
Sam Smith contributed to this report