Monaco (SportsNetwork.com) - Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has partnered with Venturi Automobiles to enter a team in the new FIA Formula E Championship - the world's first fully-electric race car series, set to launch in September 2014.
Formula E is using electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 140 mph (225 kph). The series will compete in 10 cities worldwide, including Beijing, London and Los Angeles.
Venturi Grand Prix will now be put forward to the FIA for approval as the 10th and final team to enter the new zero-emission series. They will join international names from around the world, including IndyCar teams Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing as well as the former Formula One team Super Aguri.
Based in Monaco, Venturi Grand Prix has been co-founded by DiCaprio and Gildo Pallanca Pastor, founder of pioneering EV manufacturer Venturi Automobiles, together with Bert Hedaya and Francesco Costa.
"The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles," DiCaprio said in a team statement. "Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort."
Venturi Grand Prix is centered around Venturi Automobiles, a leader in high performance electric vehicles, developing a range of sports, urban and utilitarian cars as well as being the current holders of the world land speed record for an electric vehicle with 307 mph (495 kph). The team also plans to become a constructor from the second season, building its own Formula E car.
"Venturi has been a pioneer in electric high performance vehicles for more than a decade, and Formula E gives us the fantastic opportunity to further improve our advanced technologies through motorsport as well as compete all over the world," Pastor said. "It also gives us the chance to be part of a new racing program with a project that really shares Venturi's values for clean mobility, innovation in the field of electric propulsion and energy efficiency optimization."