ABT Sportsline Joins Formula E Roster

By John Beltz Snyder

November 15, 2013

The first race of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship series is still a ways off, but news about the new all-electric racing series keeps coming through the pipeline. Now, Germany’s ABT Sportsline is the seventh team to sign up for the high-voltage competition.
Electric, open-wheel racing is a far cry from the DTM racing Audi Sport ABT (as the team is also known) is used to, but this new series will pose new challenges to all teams involved. It should be pretty exciting.
ABT Sportsline joins Super Aguri (Japan), e.dams (France), Dragon Racing (USA), Andretti Autosport (USA), China Racing (China), and Drayson Racing (UK) on the grid, with room for three more teams to sign on. Each team will run two cars, for a total of 20.
The Formula E season begins in Beijing, China on September 20, 2014, with ten races in various global venues through June 2015 on the schedule.
Scroll down for more about ABT Sportsline’s Formula E entry in the press release, below, or visit Formula E’s website for a lot more information about the series.
ABT Sportsline to compete in FIA Formula E
•    Bavarian outfit is the only German team to compete in the series
•    Ten races around the world, home round in Germany’s capital Berlin
•    Hans-Jürgen Abt: “A great and exciting challenge for us”

ABT Sportsline is tackling a new challenge in motor-sport. The squad headed by Team Principal Hans-Jürgen Abt will be competing with two cars in the new FIA Formula E Championship that will make its debut in September 2014. The Bavarians are the seventh of a total of ten teams and the only German outfit.

“We’re proud to have the opportunity to take part in the debut of this new racing series. Participating in the new FIA Formula E Championship marks a completely new chapter in our more than 60-year motorsport history,” said Managing Director Hans-Jürgen Abt. “As a company that has been active in the field of regenerative powertrains and electric mobility we’re convinced of the series’ concept. It’s innovative, delivers motorsport at the highest level and a great show for fans around the world – all of which are a perfect fit for ABT Sportsline.”

The outfit from Germany’s Allgäu region will compete under the name of ‘Audi Sport ABT Formula-E Team,’ based on the name used in its successful commitment as an Audi factory team in the popular international touring car series DTM. Audi Sport is favourable to this project. “We’ve been watching this new project of the FIA with great interest and are delighted that ABT Sportsline as one of our close and long-standing partners will be involved right from the beginning,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the squad on tackling this new challenge and are planning to support its commitment with drivers from our factory line-up if required.”

The agreement to enter the Championship was done by Hans-Jürgen Abt and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoters Formula E Holdings, in Kempten on Thursday night. Alejandro Agag said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Audi Sport Team ABT Formula E into the championship, our seventh of 10 teams and the third European outfit. Formula E is very much an open championship and a platform for teams to showcase their own fully-electric cars, so to have one of the most successful German motorsport teams with the support of a big manufacturer on board is a fantastic addition to the series. I’m sure German racing fans will also be particularly pleased as they now have a home team to support during the Berlin Formula E race.”

With five titles to its credit in the DTM alone ABT Sportsline is one of the most successful German teams, which has achieved victories and titles in GT and endurance racing as well. The commitment in Formula racing now also marks a return to the outfit’s early days. At the beginning of the ni-neteen-nineties, ABT scored its initial successes in Formel ADAC and Formula Three. One of the drivers back then was the subsequent Formula One and DTM star Ralf Schumacher. “We’ve been keen to embrace new challenges on many occasions in the past. Formula E is no doubt one of the most intensive ones, which makes our excitement about it even greater,” said Hans-Jürgen Abt.

Formula E is a new FIA Championship featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy and will debut in September 2014. Venues of the ten races will be Beijing, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Miami, Monaco, Berlin and London. The race weekends will consist of just one day on which the free practice and qualifying sessions as well as the race are held.