DiCaprio to enter team in new Formula E series

STEPHEN OTTLEY
Last updated 12:56 10/12/2013

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Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has joined forces with Monaco-based electric car company Venturi to enter a team in the new Formula E racing series.

DiCaprio is no stranger to environmentally friendly cars having previously invested in the Fisker company that makes the hybrid Fisker Karma sedan.

Formula E is a new series that will pit identical formula one-style cars powered by electric motors in a series of street races around some of the world's most famous cities, including Los Angeles, Beijing and London.

The series has already attracted other big name entries including Richard Branson's Virgin Racing, French team e.dams which is backed by four-time F1 champ Alain Prost, and the Audi-supported ABT team.

DiCaprio says his decision to join forces with Venturi is driven by his desire to promote clean energy.

"The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles," DiCaprio said.

"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."

Although the Formula E cars will be identical during the first season, organisers have already announced teams will be free to design their own cars from the second season onwards in a bid to spur electric vehicle design and innovation.

Venturi will base its challenger on the electric motors it used to break the electric land speed record of 495km/h in 2010.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag welcomed DiCaprio's involvement in the series.

"Very few environmental leaders have helped more than him to spread the message of sustainability around the world," Agag said.

"Having people like him and Richard Branson - global ambassadors for the environment - is a privilege for our championship and will greatly help us spread the use of electric cars in cities around the planet."

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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