One of the key figures behind the new-look NIO team has outlined some of its plans as it embarks on a first season in charge of the operation.
Vincent Wang, CEO of BIE (Brilliance in Excellence), the company which is now spearheading the newly-named NIO 333 team, told e-racing365 that the future of the team is assured when speaking publicly on the subject for the first time.
Wang has been coordinating a restructuring of the team since the end of July and was keen to confirm that it would remain based in the UK but with some senior staff being integrated from Shanghai.
“We are still deciding the final structure,” Wang told e-racing365.
“We remain with most of the engineers and mechanics that used to work for NIO and we think that the guys we have are very, very good.
“We will run the team in UK and we are trying to handle a smooth transaction in the operational point of view.”
The BIE entity is registered in and trades from Hong Kong and counts among its board some members of the Shanghai Lisheng Racing Co. Ltd. group.
E-racing365, which revealed the deal in July, understands that while the transaction is agreed, the actual completion is not expected to come until the end of September. This could take the form of a complete takeover of the team rather than a majority shareholder.
NIO remains as a partner of the new team and the two sides are set to cooperate in the promotion of the team and what Wang described as “its racing culture.”
Wang pointed out that the BIE organization will be viewing the 2019-20 season as a “challenging season where we have a lot to learn.”
“Season Six will be a transitional time for the team and we will work on the development and preparation for a good season even to try for podiums and good results,” added Wang.
New NIO 333 Team Name Explained
The new NIO 333 team name was lodged with the FIA earlier this month to distinguish a new era for the Chinese entered team, according to Wang.
The ‘333’ element of the team reflects a precise phrase in the Shanghai dialect which spells the number three as ‘sai’.
This has a connotation to racing and is an indirect affirmation to Chinese motorsports’ affinity to the 555 sponsorship that adorned Subaru rally cars in the 1990s.
“In Shanghai local dialect ‘san’ for three is said as ‘sai’ which means race and competition, so this relation means this so we have a nice reason for the new name,” said Wang.
The operational lead of the cars is being managed by performance program racing director Christian Silk and performance programme operations director Barry Mortimer, who are readying the cars at NIO’s Donington Park base.