The Virgin Racing Formula E Team today unveiled the names of their first two cars, which will compete in the new global electric motor racing series. ‘Holly’ named after daughter of Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson, and ‘Bellie’ named after Isabella Branson, Richard’s daughter-in-law and wife of Sam Branson.
Driven by Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari, ‘Holly’ and ‘Bellie’ will feature on both cars in the form of a specially designed ‘flying’ image of the girls, mirroring the flying lady design that features on Virgin planes and on the Virgin Galactic spaceship. To save arguments between the drivers so early on in the season Holly and Isabella visited Donington Park for the first time to select which car and driver they would be championing for the season. Drawing the name from a helmet and taking first pick, Holly Branson pulled out British driver Sam Bird with Isabella Branson left to select Jaime Alguersuari.
The two new cars will race on purpose-built street circuits in ten city centres around the world as part of the all-new Championship, with the first race in Beijing in September 2014. The Formula E Championship will showcase electric car technology and speed up development and innovation amongst manufacturers. Against this backdrop, Virgin will bring fun, energy and excitement to create a concept that is compelling for both fans and commercial partners alike.
Holly Branson – daughter of Sir Richard Branson, said: “I am thrilled to be involved in such an exciting development in motorsport. The Formula E Championship encapsulates all that Virgin stands for. As a family we believe in leading the way and investing in new opportunities. Formula E is a great example of this, not only is it helping to develop pioneering technology but it also promotes an environmentally friendly future. Bellie and I are extremely proud to show our support for the team in this way.”
Jaime Alguersuari – Virgin Racing driver, said: “It’s fantastic to add a touch of sophistication to the team by having Holly and Bellie involved like this. I already think we have the most stunning cars on the grid and this makes them even better. And I have to say, the fact that the girls are the last thing I see before I drive out onto the track certainly beats what I’m used to seeing at that stage, no offence to my mechanics! Of course, it’s up to me and Sam now to make sure that it is Holly or Bellie crossing the finish line first…”