British racer Alex Lynn has been confirmed alongside Sam Bird to compete in the forthcoming New York Formula E race for Virgin Racing, marking the series’ first ever all-British driver line-up.

The 23-year-old was appointed the team’s official reserve driver earlier this year and steps up for the double-header event on July 15 and 16 to make his race debut, in place of Jose Maria Lopez who is unable to compete.

Fresh from claiming LMP2 pole position at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, Lynn has previously been crowned a Formula Renault Champion, GP3 World Champion and victor in the coveted Macau F3 Grand Prix. Additionally, he has multiple wins in GP2 to his credit and has been a long-standing Formula 1 test driver.

“I’m delighted to be racing for the Virgin Racing team,” said Lynn, who has previously sampled the car during the Mexico race weekend shakedown. “Formula E has always impressed me with its combination of advanced technology, iconic city centre locations and some of the best drivers in the world. We have a lot of testing and simulator work to do before the New York event, but I’m confident I can show what I’m capable of during my rookie debut in the Big Apple.”

The appointment leaves the team without a reserve driver but has been willingly replaced by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson who was already attending the event.

He said: “I heard about the situation at the team and offered my services! As you know, I’ve always loved a challenge and Alex, Sam and myself are the three plucky Brits ready to take on New York. Team Principal Alex Tai is putting me through my paces before the event; I’ve organised some testing time on the streets of Manhattan ahead of the race so hopefully I can impress the boss!”

Team Principal Alex Tai said: “I’ve long been an admirer of Alex as a driver so it will great to see what he is capable of and how quickly he can adapt to the competitive world of Formula E. As it’s a new track it will be a level playing field for all drivers so, combined with our quick car, hopefully we can achieve the results we deserve. And besides there’s always Richard to fall back on!”

The New York rounds (9 and 10) of the FIA Formula E Championship take place on July 15 and 16.