The Virgin Racing Formula E team unveiled one of the most attractive liveries during pre-season testing at Donington Park. Next to the series’ partners and brand name Virgin, a special sticker was put on the car. A flying female driver with, for each car, a different name attached. Meet Holly and Bellie.
“Holly, that’s Sir Richard Branson’s daughter”, tells Sam Bird to ElectricAutosport.com. The 27-year-old British driver has the honour to race with her name on the car while team mate Jaime Alguersuari finds Bellie at the front of his electric racer. “This is what Virgin always does. They pick women’s names for their vehicles, like they did for the Galactic spaceship and airplanes too.” The names of the flying ladies have been drawn from a helmet to decide which name would be put on which car.
Testing with his Holly went pretty well. “We’ve been focussing on long runs to learn about the battery, rather than setting fast lap times. Pace is not the most important thing here at a fast flowing Donington, while we’ll be racing at a tight and twisty Beijing”, Bird knows.
His first experiences with the car were positive and he finds the car’s noise pretty cool too. “It is less powerful than I’m used to obviously, but what it gives you is quite exciting and fun. The noise is much less, but even though it’s less, it’s different and very cool.”
The noise, it’s concept with city centre racing and bringing new technology to the people must be appealing, Bird thinks. “Hopefully it will make spectators more aware of electric cars and CO2 emissions. And to make these type of cars cool too. Perhaps it doesn’t have this cool factor now and maybe we’re able to introduce that.”
Sam Bird resumes pre-season testing on August 19 at Donington Park, three weeks before the first race takes place in Beijing.