Nick Cassidy joins Envision Virgin to replace Sam Bird

Reigning Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy will join the Envision Virgin Racing squad for the 2020-21 Formula E season to replace the Jaguar-bound Sam Bird

Nick Cassidy joins Envision Virgin to replace Sam Bird

Cassidy, 25, will join Robin Frijns in the Audi customer team line-up when the seventh season commences next January as part of what is being described as a multi-year agreement.

The New Zealander, who has primarily raced for Toyota in Japan since 2016, made his first outing in FE machinery earlier this year during the rookie test in Marrakech.

He set the quickest time of the day by 0.5 seconds, and set a new FE record for posting the highest ever average lap speed.

Cassidy, the winner of the 2015 Japanese Formula 3 and 2017 Super GT crowns as well as last year's Super Formula title, said he felt ready for a fresh challenge in his career.

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"It's a fantastic opportunity for me to be joining Formula E and Envision Virgin Racing from next season," said Cassidy.

"The team is one of the most successful on the grid, have a great set-up and facilities, and have continually impressed me since I joined them for the rookie test back in March.

"All drivers know the depth and quality of the field in Formula E is among the best in the world, so it is great to be adding my name to this roster.

"Racing in Japan has been an amazing experience and I'm fortunate that I've been able to achieve so much in a short space of time, but I feel it's now time for the next challenge in my career and I'm very much looking forward to doing that with Envision Virgin Racing and Formula E."

Envision Virgin managing director Sylvain Filippi added: "In Nick we know we have a very ambitious, capable driver with raw talent, speed and race craft, as well as an impressive track record for his age.

"From his short time with us we are confident - together with Robin Frijns - we have two drivers that can compete at the sharp end to win championships."

Although Bird's move to Jaguar, announced on Tuesday, created an obvious space for Cassidy to slot into, it is understood Envision Virgin's offer did not necessarily depend on Bird leaving the team and predated that move being finalised.

Cassidy had also been sounded out by numerous other teams about 2020-21 drives, including by Mahindra to fill the seat vacated by Pascal Wehrlein for the six Berlin races that will round off the coronavirus-disrupted 2019-20 season as well as the following year.

But he turned down that offer in favour of pursuing a deal with Envision Virgin.

This year, Cassidy is contesting another dual campaign for Toyota's flagship TOM'S team in Super Formula and Super GT. Given Virgin's Audi customer status, he will not be required in Europe for testing duties until the official pre-season test in early December.

Autosport understands that a dialogue is ongoing between Toyota and Cassidy about a continuation of their relationship in 2021 and beyond.

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About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Sam Bird , Nick Cassidy
Teams Virgin Racing , DS Virgin Racing
Author Jamie Klein
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