BMW will exit from FIA Formula E Championship after 2020/21 as Juan Pablo Montoya secures IMSA drive and Jan Magnussen is in WEC.
BMW to exit Formula E:
The German manufacturer will leave Formula E after Season 7, their announcement coming after one to a similar effect from Audi on Monday. It remains unclear whether or not the organisation with which BMW are partnered – Andretti – will continue involvement in the series.
BMW cited a similar reason for their departure as Audi did before them, saying that ongoing development is no longer relevant to their electric road cars, and therefore no longer serves the intended purpose to their operation.
A statement read: “After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at the end of the coming season. As a partner from the word go, BMW has consistently supported the Formula E project and been instrumental in the series’ success story.
“BMW has enjoyed victories and podiums with the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team. BMW Group has always used Formula E as a tech lab for production. The same engineers who develop the drivetrains for electric production vehicles are also responsible for the drivetrains in the race cars.
“Examples of the successful transfer of technology between the Formula E project and production development include new findings regarding energy management and energy efficiency, the transfer of software for power electronics from racing to production, and an improvement in the power density of the e-motors.
“When it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E. Furthermore, the strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of e-mobility. In the future, greater emphasis will be placed on the comprehensive scaling of the offering and global production.
“BMW Group plans to have put one million electric vehicles on the roads by the end of 2021. The goal is to increase this figure to seven million by 2030, of which two-thirds will be fully-electric. Since entering a works team in Season 5, BMW i Andretti Motorsport has claimed four victories, four pole positions and nine podiums in its 24 races so far.
“In the coming season, the team will do everything it can to achieve as much sporting success on the track as possible with the BMW iFE.21 and drivers Maximilian Günther (GER) and Jake Dennis (GBR).”
Montoya gets MSR IMSA seat:
In further news to be released on Wednesday it was announced that Juan Pablo Montoya – formerly of Acura Team Penske’s mothballed DPi program – would be an endurance driver for Meyer Shank Racing’s 2021 IMSA program in the DPi class, once more for behind the wheel of the Acura ARX-05 for the team’s first season with the protoype.
Montoya will drive in the Endurance Cup for the team, alongside Oliver Pla and Dane Cameron of the team’s full-season line-up. AJ Allmendinger will also contest January’s Rolex 24 for the organization. It will be the second program Montoya takes part in of 2021, with the other being an LMP2 drive with Dragonspeed.
“I’m really excited to be joining Meyer Shank Racing next year,” said Montoya. “I’ve always seen Mike (Shank) around the track and we had a really simple, straight forward conversation to get this deal put together for next year. Dane and I have a really great relationship that has also turned into a friendship.
“We both really understand each other and know what we need from each other to be competitive. I’m looking forward to continuing the relationship with him. I’m also looking forward to driving with Olivier and AJ. I know AJ from back when I ran NASCAR and we banged wheels more than once.
“I’ve won at Daytona several times, but we have yet to score a victory with the Acura. It would be great to get that first victory and I know that with the lineup that Mike has put together we’re capable of doing that,” summed up Montoya.
Jan Magnussen gets WEC drive:
In another Sportscar racing series, Jan Magnussen acquired a WEC seat with the High Class Racing outfit in LMP2. The father of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen will drive the Oreca model alongside fellow Danes Anders Fjordbach and Dennis Andersen in 2021.
The announcement comes after the two completed a test last year. “I am extremely happy to be a part of High Class Racing’s WEC programme, which also includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June,” said Magnussen.
“It is a project that we have worked on for a long time, and it’s awesome for everyone that we can enter with a Danish team. We had a great test in Bahrain in 2019, and I look forward to being a part of a team, which has already shown good pace in endurance racing.”
Here’s Valencia Formula E pre-season test recap
Here’s news from Audi leaving Formula E
Here’s news on Juan Pablo Montoya in WEC