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Formula E figures announce new electric junior series

by Ida Wood

Former Mahindra Formula E team boss Dilbagh Gill and Mahindra’s special advisor Nick Heidfeld launched a new electric junior series at the Hyderabad E-Prix, FE’s first race in India.

Heidfeld previously raced for the Indian team before taking on a behind-the-scenes role, and he remains its reserve driver. He will now be the development driver and advisor to ‘ACE Championship’, which is set to start in 2024.

The series will have two levels running with the same car but at different power levels: “The entry-level Challenger Series and the top-tier Championship. This Championship will be a ‘feeder’ platform for drivers and engineering talent to move into other racing series.”

A calendar has not been revealed, with the series explaining that it “will run in a regional format and on regional circuits across continents”, and the race format will be “short” and “digital”.

Promo images showed a prototype car with striking similarities to the unraced FE Gen2 Evo design, and the series described its car as “an evolved vehicle similar in performance to the Gen2 FE car”.

It went on to say in its announcement of the series that “the same car will be used in both levels of racing, meaning teams can run four drivers in two championships with two vehicles, an opportunity afforded by the technological advancements the series will deliver” and that “there is already significant interest from a range of existing racing teams”.

“The ACE Championship is about innovation in motorsport and about opportunity,” said its founder Gill.

“We are looking at the ACE Championship to provide representation to people who are interested in driving, and engineers, around the world who have not had the opportunity to date and giving them a chance to level up.”

Heidfeld added the aim is “to attract youngsters into the series”, and in the world of electric-powered junior series it will be going up against the BRSCC’s Formula Foundation-E series in Great Britain which is being launched this year and the Europe-based ERA championship that has been several years in the making but has so far only held one race.