Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has entered into a joint venture with Venturi Automobiles to enter a team for the inaugural season of Formula E.
DiCaprio has co-founded the new Venturi Grand Prix Formula E team, which has secured the 10th and final entry for the 2014-’15 electric open-wheel championship.
“The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles,” DiCaprio said. “Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort.”
Gildo Pallanca Pastor, DiCaprio’s partner in the project, is the owner of Venturi Automobiles, a leader in high-performance electric vehicles. It is also the current holder of the world land speed record for an electric vehicle, with its Buckeye Bullet 2.5 clocking a measured 307mph in 2010.
The team plans to become a Formula E constructor from the second season, building its own car using a powertrain based on the 3,000hp unit used by its new electric land speed record challenger, the Venturi VBB-3.
“Venturi has been a pioneer in electric high performance vehicles for more than a decade and Formula E gives us the fantastic opportunity to further improve our advanced technologies through motorsport, as well as compete all over the world,” Pastor said. “It also gives us the chance to be part of a new racing programme with a project that really shares Venturi’s values for clean mobility, innovation in the field of electric propulsion and energy efficiency optimisation.”
DAMS, IndyCar’s Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, ex-Formula 1 team Super Aguri, Audi-backed Abt and Virgin are among the other nine teams to have submitted entries for the 2014-’15 series.