Porsche names Neel Jani as its first Formula E driver

A year before its formally enters the Formula E fray, Porsche has announced that former LMP1 and Le Mans winner Neel Jani will be part of the manufacturer’s electric charge in 2019.

The 35-year-old Swiss driver – a member of Porsche’s successful LMP1 squad from 2014 to 2017 and the man entrusted with smashing the lap record at Spa-Francorchamps with the 929 Hybrid Evo – will begin track testing Porsche’s Formula E car early next year.

“I’m very much looking forward to the new task,” Jani enthused.

“Being part of an entirely new Porsche Motorsport programme for the second time, right from the beginning, means a lot to me.

“The technical and driving challenges are huge and our strong Formula E opponents have a significant advantage in experience. There is a lot of work ahead of us and I can’t wait for the roll-out.”

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Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport on Neel Jani:

“Without doubt, Neel is the right man for our new technologically trendsetting programme,” said

“Not only does he contribute speed, but he has a huge amount of single seater experience. He has already driven in Formula E and is well established in Weissach as a development driver.”

As the automotive industry charges it batteries for the future, Porsche has chosen the burgeoning Formula E series as its principal engineering outlet for its motorsport activities.

Porsche’s entry into Formula E for the 2019/20 season will run parallel to the introduction of the manufacturer’s first electric-powered race car, the new Taycan.

“The Formula E programme has an important position within the company’s future strategy, as motorsport and production vehicle experts work side by side at the research and development centre in Weissach,” Porsche said in a its press release.

“One of the results of this close working relationship and knowledge-sharing is the Taycan’s 800 Volt technology, which combines huge range and short charging times with an impressive performance output.

“This high voltage technology is based on pioneering engineering mastered for the three times Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid.

“In terms of electrical drive, battery and cooling management, the development of production cars has benefitted from the experience gained in motorsport.

“Now the electric racing series will also focus on the development of key technology and energy management.”

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