Ahead of the finale showdown in London later this month, championship leader Nelson Piquet Jr today announces that he has signed a multi-year deal with NEXTEV TCR to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship.
Piquet, a double Formula E race winner who is currently leading the championship, joined NEXTEV TCR ahead of the inaugural Formula E season. It saw his return to single-seater racing after five years away competing in NASCAR and rallycross in the USA.
In just nine races he has impressed, scoring outright race victories at Long Beach in California and Moscow in Russia, as well as podiums in Uruguay, Buenos Aires and the legendary Monte Carlo. With two races remaining he is leading the championship with a 17 point margin.
Nelson commented: "I am very happy to confirm that I will be racing with NEXTEV TCR in Formula E for the foreseeable future. We have had some amazing results together this season and as we build our experience together we are looking to grow as a force in this championship and be consistent championship contenders. I have loved racing in Formula E, I think it's an exciting place to be in racing. The grid is strong, the car technology will keep developing and we’re offering something really exciting for fans racing in cities. For now our focus turns to the remainder of this season and aiming for the title in London next week."
NEXTEV TCR Team Principal Steven Lu added: "I am delighted to continue working with the most talented driver in Formula E. I knew Nelson since the start of my A1 Team China in A1GP 2005, and he impressed us by winning first ever A1GP race in Brands Hatch. When I saw the smiles from my engineers after the pre-season tests in Donington, I believed Nelson would bring maximum efforts to be the winner of Formula E inaugural season. With strong support from NEXTEV, Campos Racing, Omni Gear, Henkel and other partners, we are very close to finishing in style in both the team and driver championships. Nelson will also be the key to the success of our future powertrain development and industrial plan. We all believe electric cars are the future, and we are winning from the very beginning"
Having started his career in South American karting, Piquet soon switched to car racing with immediate championship success in South American F3. A move to Europe followed where he took top honors in the British F3 Championship in 2004, becoming the youngest driver at the time to scoop the title. The Brazilian graduated to GP2 in 2005, finishing as runner-up in the series in 2006 after a season-long battle with Lewis Hamilton. He graduated to a race seat in F1 for 2008 alongside Fernando Alonso where his performances, including a second place podium in the German GP, helped the team secure fourth position in the constructors" championship. He continued with the team into 2009.
From 2010 Nelson began to pursue a career in the USA in NASCAR. He became the first Brazilian to win a top tier NASCAR race by visiting Victory Lane at Road America in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012 and further took victories in the NASCAR Truck Series. In 2014 he took a full-time ride in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship, impressing with four podiums in his first season and, last autumn was announced as a driver for NEXTEV TCR in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship.