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Porsche to Begin Testing in March, Driver Announcement Soon

Porsche will test its Formula E development car for the first time in March…

Photo: Rene de Boer

Porsche will test its first ever all-electric race car in March and will announce the first driver for its long-awaited ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign soon.

Fritz Enzinger, the acting head of Porsche’s Formula E program, also confirmed that the car’s powertrain has been dyno testing since October, during the Night of Champions at Weissach on Saturday evening.

E-racing365 revealed in April that Porsche was planning to begin its development program away from the race track this fall.

Since then, the team has undergone a shake-up with the departure of Andreas Seidl, who was set to lead the program and is now expected to take up a senior position in a Formula 1 team early next year.

“Our first driver will be announced shortly, it is already decided,” Enzinger revealed at the Night of Champions.

Candidates for a drive with Porsche are known to be recently-replaced Toro Rosso F1 driver Brendon Hartley and 2016 FIA World Endurance Champion Neel Jani.

Fred Makowiecki remains another option for Porsche, possibly for testing purposes, with the Frenchman having played a testing role with the initial Spark Gen 1 Formula E car and tire development on the Gen 2 model.

Makowiecki, Jani and Hartley all continue to be contracted to Porsche, as does Gianmaria Bruni who has sampled a Venturi Formula E car.

Porsche also displayed its show car during Saturday’s event, having received the car from Spark Technologies last month.

It will receive its official development and test car next month, when it can begin its allocated allowance of 15 track testing days.

“We’ll receive the first car in January and we are looking forward to start testing with it [in March],” said Michael Steiner, vice president of development and special advisory board member.

Rene de Boer contributed to this report.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Kris

    December 8, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Audi and Porsche are brands owned by the same VAG group. They’re developing EV road cars together under the same platform, the recently announced Audi e-Tron GT and to be launched soon Porsche Taycan are the same car with different body panels. What’s the VAG vision having two of their brands competing in the same championship does scape me – the only I can think of is to accelerate their R&D, which raises the question, is Porsche developing their own motor or they’re using the same designed by Audi?

    • Louis Satterlee

      December 9, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Then GT3 category must really blow your mind with at least 4 of their brands racing against eachother.

      As to answer your other question, i believe it’s all just a marketing ploy. At least that’s just how i view FE

      • Old Trombone

        December 9, 2018 at 11:35 am

        Had to get your little political taunt in there, right? FE is “only for marketing”, uh huh. Try telling that to the engineers who are actually making low-emission mobility work at a faster rate of improvement.

        Stop trying-on the “birther” or “fauxcahontas” crap here please. These folks really mean business with trying to help humanity here, give them a break on the political crap, please

        Y’know, not everybody thinks that the only way to “win” is to beat everybody else in some zero-sum bloviation marketing competition. Some people actually have real moral intentions in their lives.

      • Old Trombone

        December 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

        FE is only for marketing while Ferrari pushes “mission winnow” Philip Morris / Altria cancer-sticks on young boys watching F1. Yeah, right. Winnowing our kids out from a future of being alive. Seriously, who is sick with marketing?

  2. Chris

    December 9, 2018 at 7:41 am

    People don’t think of them as being connected really. They competed in WEC with different technology and they’ll probably do that again.

    • Kris

      December 9, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      I know and the same does happen in the WRX with Audi and VW competing with the same car (Audi A1 and VW Polo are the same car underneath, same platform, suspensions, engines and gearboxes). My point is, if they’re using the same motor, yes, probably is a marketing exercise more than to advance engineering, but because the main attractive point of FE is the development of new powertrains (electric motors, inverters, gearboxes and software), I’m inclined to believe that Porsche indeed will go their on way but in the end as a business (thinking as the VAG group as a whole) you’ve to have a reason to justify any expenses. So if Audi and Porsche are about to compete in the same championship (FE) with the development of different powertrains, are there a [business] reason for that? The only I can think of really is to advance their R&D which motorsport always was good for, a test-bed to prove new technologies that will find their way to road cars of the future.

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