Techeetah Racing Director Leo Thomas has won the inaugural Modis Engineer of the Year Award, seeing off competition from an outstanding field of experts in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
The championship and its official innovation partner Modis seek to recognize technical excellence in the innovative world of electric racing.
The announcement was made at the Formula E Season Finale Awards Gala in New York on Sunday evening.
The panel of judges unanimously selected Leo Thomas for his outstanding contribution to the sport, with a special focus on innovation initiated and led by the winner, Techeetah’s team performance over the season, and his contribution to team spirit.
In particular, the panel praised Thomas’ development and deployment of a hyper-realistic race simulator which gave the Techeetah team a competitive advantage for race preparation and review throughout the season.
The panel comprised Formula E Founder & CEO Alejandro Agag, Formula E Head of Sporting Benoit Dupont, Spark Technical Director Theophile Gouzin, Motorsport Network EMEA President James Allen, Eurosport’s Director of Global Motorsport Production Sebastian Tiffert, and Serge Grisin, Formula E Program Manager for Michelin.
Thomas receives a €20,000 (c. $23,400) bursary funded by Modis, which includes €10,000 for courses with the Adecco Group’s leading digital training brand General Assembly.
“I can’t thank Modis enough for this because it’s the first time that the engineers behind the scenes have been recognized,” Thomas said.
“It’s really an award for the whole Techeetah team. It has been an incredible and intense season, ending with the title for Jean-Eric [Vergne]. This nomination is another reward for the team’s incredible work.”
Thomas started his career as a mechanical engineer in lower series motor racing before working for Peugeot Sport on its LMP1 908 project.
He went on to start his own motorsport simulator business as well as helping to set up the Sebastian Loeb racing team.
Thomas has worked in Formula E since its inception in 2014, eventually rising through the ranks as a race engineer at Techeetah to the level of racing director.
“Engineers are the unsung heroes of the championship, and we wanted to celebrate the vital contribution they make to the success of e-racing,” said Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group – the parent group of Modis.
“A top engineer like Leo Thomas can conjure up those small margins that turn into competitive advantage on race day.
“The world of electric racing demands an incredible combination of innovation, adaptability and commitment from its engineers, and Modis is proud to promote and celebrate the invaluable ‘behind-the-scenes’ work that is so crucial for the development of Formula E and e-mobility.”