After a respectable third place finish in the team's championship following a dramatic New York Season 4 finale, long-standing ABB FIA Formula E team Virgin Racing has today announced it will run Audi's new e-tron FE05 cars during its Season 5 campaign.
Despite Virgin Racing's long-standing driver Sam Bird's best efforts to keep the team - then powered by hardware from DS Automobiles - in the top three in Season 4, it was motorsport masters Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler who took the title in the end with a total of 264 points.
Putting that win to good use, the Audi team has developed its new Gen2 challenger, the e-tron FE05, which Virgin has opted to run for its Season 5 campaign. "We are glad that in the new Formula E season together with Virgin Racing four Audi e-tron FE05 cars will fight for points and trophies," said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.
"Virgin Racing’s choice of using our powertrain...confirms the excellent work that our engineers are doing together with their colleagues from our development partner Schaeffler," he added.
Having previously developed an in-house powertrain solution, and more recently collaborating with DS Automobiles, the Silverstone-based outfit will become an independent team for the 2018/2019 season, which kicks off in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 15.
“From the outset, it was always the team’s intention to partner with an OEM as Virgin’s core business areas don’t involve the production of automobiles," said Sylvain Filippi, Virgin Racing’s Managing Director.
"With Audi Sport together with the drive of our majority team owner Envision, we feel this is the perfect partnership to ensure we continue fighting at the front of the grid.”
Still yet to announce full details of its Season 5 campaign, Virgin Racing and Envision Group will hold a live launch event on October 5 to unveil the team’s season five car livery, driver line-up and partner announcements. Stay tuned for more details.