Citroen poised to enter Formula E in 2015/16 with Virgin Racing

Citroen is set to join the Formula E grid with the Virgin Racing team next season

Citroen poised to enter Formula E in 2015/16 with Virgin Racing

Virgin is one of the eight registered manufacturers selected to develop their own powertrains for the 2015/16 season and is understood to have entered into a financial and technological partnership with Citroen.

The move is believed to have been driven by new PSA Group (which includes Citroen and Peugeot) boss Carlos Tavares, a known supporter of the Formula E electric-vehicle championship.

He was responsible for the sponsorship deal between Formula E and Renault, where he was formerly chief executive officer before his move to PSA in February 2014.

There is also a link between Tavares, a keen motorsport fan and amateur racer, and Virgin - the Formula E operation is run by personnel from the test squad of the Lotus Formula 1 team, which was formerly owned by and raced as Renault.

It is understood that Citroen could choose Formula E to promote its DS sub-brand as it emerges into a stand-alone marque.

Yves Matton, team principal of the Citroen Racing competitions department that masterminds the manufacturer's World Rally Championship campaign, told AUTOSPORT: "There was a story in the newspaper recently with Tavares saying that PSA Group has some interest to the Formula E.

"Now we are looking at what will be the motorsport disciplines that fit the three brands [Peugeot, Citroen and DS] the best.

"Formula E could be one of the disciplines that fit to the group, but nothing is decided."

Virgin Racing would not comment directly on speculation that it has a deal in place with Citroen.

"We are talking to various manufacturers, as are most teams in Formula E," said a spokesman.

"We are hopeful of a partnership going into season two, but it is too early to say anything."

Citroen's likely move into Formula E would pitch it against Renault, which as a manufacturer will supply powertrains to the e.dams team.

Next year's Formula E regulations allow manufacturers to build their own electric motors, current inverters and gearboxes.

The maximum race power will rise from 150kW to 170kW.

The power and energy figures will continue to rise leading up to season five in 2018/19, when Formula E is set to abandon both the one-make concept and mid-race changes of car.

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