New Formula E racer Oliver Turvey spoke with Motorsport.com from Thailand where the McLaren-Honda test driver is preparing for this weekend’s Japanese Super GT round at Buriram in the Drago Modulo Honda-entered NSX Concept GT.
The British driver will dash back to Spain and then London next week where he will partner championship hopeful Nelson Piquet in the NEXTEV TCR squad at Battersea Park.
Motorsport.com broke the news of Turvey’s deal with NEXTEV TCR yesterday, and spoke with him about the deal this afternoon.
How did the agreement with NEXTEV TCR come about?
“The NEXTEV TCR team approached me about my availability to drive for them in the London ePrix which was a fantastic surprise and, especially as my Super GT race schedule with Honda and F1 test schedule with McLaren-Honda didn’t clash, it was an easy decision to accept the opportunity to race in London.”
Is Formula E something you have always wanted to race in?
"Yes, I have followed the progress of the Formula E championship since it was announced and as an engineering graduate I believe the technology is really exciting and provides a great platform for future development.
“I have followed the first season and been really impressed with the championship, there is strong competition with a high level of drivers and the races have been exciting so I can’t wait to join the grid in London.”
Will you be used by the team to influence the title battle for team mate Nelson Piquet?
“I am sure Nelson is very capable of winning the title. I will do my best to score the best possible result for the team and to help them to move up from third in the constructors’ championship.”
Has the deal to race got any scope for season two and continuing with the team?
“At the minute, I have only been offered the drive for London ePrix and we will have to see afterwards about the second season but I am currently racing in Super GT for Honda and am in my sixth season as test driver for McLaren-Honda.
“If it was possible to fit the second season in around these commitments, then I would be delighted to drive for the team.”
Can we read in to any McLaren involvement with regard to the deal?
“No, I was approached by NEXTEV TCR to drive in the London ePrix, and the only McLaren involvement will be from the standard powertrain that is supplied by McLaren Electronics which I am looking forward to experiencing.”
Have you been down to Battersea to see the track layout? Any sim work done?
“I actually haven’t really been back in the UK, as I only got approached while I was out at the Le Mans 24 Hours and have since travelled out to Thailand for the next round of Super GT. I am currently living in South West London so on my return will get down to Battersea Park as soon as possible to have a look at the track layout.
“I will also be going out to Valencia beforehand to meet the team and work with my engineers on the simulator to learn as much as possible ahead of the London ePrix.”
Oliver Turvey was speaking to Sam Smith