It’s clearly a great PR opportunity, as opposed to a serious call-up, but Sir Richard Branson will be DS Virgin’s official reserve driver for the New York ePrix.
The team’s reserve since the start of the year, Alex Lynn, has been picked to replace Jose Maria Lopez for the New York double-header.
That’s because Lopez, like Formula E championship leader Sebastien Buemi, is missing New York to race for Toyota in the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Nurburgring.
Clashes between FE and other motorsport categories is no new thing, so we’re used to seeing drivers being replaced for one-off races.
Of course, the first-ever New York ePrix is a pretty big one to miss, but Lynn has been called up to replace Lopez and join Sam Bird.
Needing a reserve driver, there are probably a lot of deserving young stars who could’ve been selected, but DS Virgin went a different route.
Yep, Branson himself offered his services and has been made reserve driver for the New York weekend, as he was going there anyway.
Delighted to be official @DSVirginRacing reserve driver for #FormulaE #NYCePrix. Time to do some testing! pic.twitter.com/fw9H0upemY
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) June 28, 2017
The Virgin Group founder says he has “organised some testing time” in New York to get himself up to speed in a Formula E car.
PR stunt? Most definitely. But, it’s still a cool story ahead of the New York ePrix – which takes place from the 15-16 July.
New York’s first Formula E race will take place on a track in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, facing Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.