Discovery Inc. and its subsidiary Eurosport Events have been named as the promotional organization behind the FIA Electric GT Championship which is due to launch in 2023.
The FIA announced on Thursday that global media group Discovery has been selected through a tender process to hold promoter status for the new series that will involve 45-minute races for 430 kW electric GT cars on permanent circuits around the world.
Discovery-owned Eurosport Events already promotes the Pure ETCR electric touring car series, which is being upgraded to FIA eTouring Car World Cup status from next year.
Its role as the co-organizer of the global Electric GT Championship will involve working with the FIA to “develop a long-term platform” for electric vehicle manufacturers to showcase innovative technology through motorsport.
Discovery will also manage the championship’s multimedia rights distribution and be responsible for directing a sustainability drive towards net zero-carbon race events.
Eurosport previously worked with the FIA as the promoter of the World Touring Car Championship, while it currently promotes the FIA World Touring Car Cup, Pure ETCR and the FIA European Rally Championship among other competitions on four and two wheels.
“It is a privilege to grow our 17-year partnership with the FIA,” said Francois Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events.
“For the first time, we will put the full power of Discovery behind Eurosport Events, allowing us to meet the expectations of premium car manufacturers and develop a powerful new flagship asset in Electric GT.
“We share a common vision with the FIA for a next-generation championship that features advanced technologies and outstanding electric mobility performance, all delivered through exciting and sustainable racing.
“As the performance segment of the automotive industry continues to rapidly convert to an electric future, Electric GT will provide a global stage to showcase the aspirational GT electric cars and super-fast charging capacity, which will become available for consumers tomorrow to recharge their cars within a few minutes.”
FIA President Jean Todt described the announcement of Discovery’s FIA Electric GT Championship promotional role as an “important milestone”.
The agreement has been described as a “long-term” venture, although a fixed number of seasons has not been communicated.
“This concept is sustainable, innovative and embodies our race-to-road approach in terms of technology transfer, making it relevant to manufacturers and road users,” he said.
“It is therefore important that this competition is in good hands in terms of promotion.
“In Discovery Group, and its subsidiary Eurosport Events, we have a strong partner experienced in promoting world level motorsport.”
Andrew Georgiou, President of Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Solutions at Eurosport, added: “Discovery is always striving to develop deeper and more expansive relationships with federations and event owners.
“In the case of the FIA, we are lucky to be associated with a leadership organization that has such an ambitious vision for the future and drive to innovate.
“While Discovery’s heritage is in global broadcasting, today we deliver a full 360 offer from global multi-platform distribution to live event production to the full range of brand marketing solutions and event promotion.
“We are excited to bring all this to the FIA Electric GT Championship, building on Discovery’s long-standing commitment to electric motorsport as a global platform to promote electric mobility and sustainability.”
More Championship Format Details Outlined
The first season of the FIA Electric GT Championship is due to take place in 2023 with a minimum of six races held across three continents.
Exact circuit venues have yet to be announced, but the series initially intends to run in Europe, Asia and the Gulf region. An expansion to the U.S is targeted for season two.
Each event will consist of two races. The first will be a qualifying race on Saturday, followed by the 45-minute main contest on Sunday.
As announced during the championship’s launch announcement last month, cars will be ‘fast-charged’ up to 60 percent of their capacity during mid-race pit stops.
The FIA and Discovery are also planning to integrate an esports component into the championship, details of which are to be announced at a later stage.
Additionally, race events are set to include a “theme park” in the paddock for spectators to learn more about electric mobility.