Drayson Withdraws, TrulliGP Is In

Drayson Racing, the first team to sign up for the inaugural Formula E, announced its withdrawal from the race only to be swiftly have its e...

Drayson Racing, the first team to sign up for the inaugural Formula E, announced its withdrawal from the race only to be swiftly have its entry replaced by TrulliGP - yes, it is the eponymous team named after Formula One driver, Jarno Trulli, making him the boss and confirmed racer for the latest team to join the race. 

Jarno Trulli, founder and driver for team TrulliGP
While Drayson has made no official announcement regarding the reason behind its withdrawal, it will continue to encourage other teams to utilise its wireless charging technology – TrulliGP, for one, has confirmed that it will be adopting Drayson’s charging technology, which does away with the need for cumbersome charging cables (this writer thinks we could all do with more wireless charging in our lives, as she writes this article amidst a messy entanglement of cables needed to power her laptop, mobile phone, speakers, table lamp…)

Lord Paul Drayson, who was the former British Minister of Science, recently launched Drayson Wireless Limited to commercialise wireless energy transfer, a technology developed at the renowned Imperial College. Perhaps Lord Drayson preferred to focus his energy on promoting the wireless technology in the automotive world, rather than dilute it by also participating in the “electrifying” race itself (get the pun?). Although, Drayson Racing Technologies' electric LMP, the Lola B12 69/EV, very famously broke the electric land speed record last year by hitting 204.185mph, driven by Lord Drayson himself, so they have technology and experience on their side to dominate the race. It makes their withdrawal even more puzzling. 

Drayson Racing - first one in, first one out
Nonetheless, we’d be excited to see what veteran Formula One racer, Trulli, brings to the table. He has raced in 256 Grand Prix’s and had one win, which was during the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix. When the 39-year-old Italian tested the Spark-Renault SRT_01E last March, he commented, 'From inside the cockpit it feels like driving a proper Formula One car, the sound is different but you still hear the sound of the electrical engine and gearbox…Maybe from the outside it seems different but inside you don’t notice it.’

He added, ‘I have been racing for 30 years, 15 in Formula One, so I have seen more or less everything so I anticipated finding something unlike anything else but it gave me the same feeling of the old days.’

First shakedown revealed no major issues
The teams had already conducted their first shakedown session at Donington Park, in wet conditions no less, with all seven confirmed drivers and several under consideration. All lauded the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, with the major concern being maximising battery life.

'We’ve had virtually no issues which say a lot for a car straight out of the box…,' said Rob Arnott, Andretti Autosport’s Team Manager.

Don’t just take their word for it. Top Gear had already reviewed it and posted a generally favourable review, except that the electric racecar still lacked power…something which will be remedied in no time as the technology progresses. 

images: fiaformulae.com

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