Formula E pressing on with electric junior championship ladder

Formula E organisers are pressing on with a “very aggressive” plan to introduce a full and electrified junior championship ladder despite the “hard stop” brought by the pandemic.

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Since the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy was canned ahead of the 2021 season owing largely to the financial strain created by COVID-19, despite a year remaining on the deal to race at select Formula E events, the championship has been left without a support series.

But plans are afoot to bolster the schedule for each weekend, with the bid for Vancouver E-Prix in July 2022 notably including the proposal for a celebrity race.

This would follow the short-lived e-Touring Car Challenge that used standardised race-prepared Volkswagen e-Golfs and ran ahead of the Hong Kong E-Prix in 2016.

However, Formula E co-founder and chief championship officer Alberto Longo has told Motorsport.com that the series is working to create a fully electric single-seater ladder.

He said: “We obviously are planning to have a full ladder to Formula E. We need to electrify the whole ladder starting even from karting.

“We have a very aggressive and very clear targets on that.

“Obviously, the COVID has been kind of hard stop into all these plans for obvious reasons.

“But we are still working on it and hopefully in the very close future we will be starting to have different championships underneath Formula E.”

Nelson Piquet Jr., Jaguar Racing I-TYPE 3 and Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy

Nelson Piquet Jr., Jaguar Racing I-TYPE 3 and Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy

Photo by: Jaguar Racing

But Longo played down the idea of using the original Gen1 machines as a basis for junior category, with some chassis falling into private ownership and sporadically coming up for sale online.

He outlined their historical significance and the expense to restore and maintain the original Spark Racing Technology-built cars as the biggest barriers.

Longo said: “Gen1 cars at the moment have been, more or less, not all but some of them, are being owned now by the collectors.

“They really wanted to have a piece of history, which is the Gen1 car.

“They're expensive to maintain as well. We really have to go on a more efficient way.”

This follows Adrian Campos Jr undertaking demonstration laps at the recent Valencia E-Prix in memory of his late father.

He ran aboard the title-winning Gen1 car of inaugural Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr, which was freshly rebuilt ahead of the tribute.

Longo added: “But why not? We don't say no to anything. They are there. We have enough to launch a different championship.

“It's not the plan but using them or not is a different thing. But obviously doing a ladder to Formula E is on our target.”

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