TAG Heuer and Porsche have just announced that moving forward, the two companies will partner in the still-niche but increasingly interesting world of Formula E racing. The move is a significant one for both companies. The entry of Porsche into Formula E racing is a fairly major step for the company, marking the first time it’s produced an open-wheel race car since its attempt, in the 1980s, to manufacture its own IndyCar from scratch.
Newcomers to Formula 1 racing are often surprised to find that Porsche doesn’t field an F1 car, but the company has been very active in WEC (World Endurance Championship) racing, where it ran its 919 Hybrid in the Le Mans Prototype 1 class. The company announced that it was leaving WEC in 2017 and since then, it has concentrated its efforts in developing a Formula E car, drawing, it says, on its experience, and lessons learned, with the 919 Hybrid.
This is the first season of Formula E for Porsche. Formula E is an all-electric car racing class, FIA (as is Formula 1) sanctioned, which has quite strict regulations – Formula E cars are required to use same chassis, wheels, brakes, tires, battery, and suspension. Porsche’s most critical input is in the drivetrain.
Though it is still in its infancy, Formula E has drawn increasing interest from motorsports enthusiasts; Porsche says that the launch of the 99X, which was done in partnership with online gaming community Twitch, had almost a million viewers. The car is quite a looker and while next-generation high tech electric race cars are probably a hard sell to dedicated petrol-heads, there is no denying the the 99X looks the part, and it seems reasonable to speculate that the 99X will act as a test-bed for the electric car technology long under development at Porsche, and already fielded in the new Taycan.
As title and timing partner, TAG Heuer’s name will be prominently visible on the car, and the team will participate in season 6 of Formula E under the name, “TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team.” The connection between Heuer and the racetrack is of course, well known to watch enthusiasts and the choice of Formula E as a partner seems to signify an intent on the part of TAG Heuer to reinforce its historical links with motorsports, but also to appeal …read more