With one of the longest-standing records in motorsport, TAG Heuer Porsche’s entry into Formula E is the latest chapter in the German manufacturer’s decorated history.
After countless victories over the years in both LMP1 and GT categories, the famous marque now turns its attention towards the all-electric racing series.
TAG Heuer, one of the leading watch-makers on the planet, and luxury car manufacturer Porsche have joined together to navigate a fresh challenge – the world of Formula E.
And, when the lights go out in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on November 22, it will mark the first race start for an all-new TAG Heuer Porsche team in the world’s premier electric-only racing series.
The new kids on the block have moved to sign up a lightly experienced Formula E driver, but a heavily decorated racing veteran in Neel Jani.
The 35-year-old, who hails from Switzerland, has demonstrated his searing speed over the years, most notably in 2015 when he set a circuit record on his way to snatching pole position in the illustrious Le Mans 24 Hours race.
His prowess behind the wheel of single-seaters stretches back over two decades since first driving karts as a 13-year-old in 1998.
Widely regarded as one of the best young drivers at the time, Jani went on to clinch victories in GP2 – the Formula One support series – before earning a place as Toro Rosso’s test driver for the 2006 season.
His remarkable talents saw him secure second place in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix series in the same year, consistently finishing on the podium throughout the season, including a stunning win at the Dubai Autodrome.
The following year, the Rorschach native won in Malaysia, but it was in 2009 where he finally flourished as a driver, sealing A1 GP series championship glory.
In 2010, Jani drove for LMP1 privateer team Rebellion before signing for the Porsche team in 2014.
It was at Porsche where he guided the German manufacturer to their first World Endurance Championship win at Sao Paulo.
His scintillating drive to pole position at Le Mans was the stand-out moment of his 2015 season, as well as leading Porsche to the World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship success.
Fresh off the back of a fine campaign, Jani started the 2016 WEC season with victory at Silverstone and a second place at Spa.
Starting from the front of the grid for the second successive year at Le Mans, Jani overcame a one-minute gap with Toyota to pass their rivals on the final lap and take a thrilling victory.
In 2017, it was announced that Jani would make his Formula E debut for Faraday Future Dragon Racing with Jerome d’Ambrosio as his team-mate.
And after two 18th place finishes in Hong Kong, he decided to focus on WEC commitments and leave the team.
One car-maker, though, has never been far away from Jani’s heart and his journey continues with TAG Heuer Porsche today.
Possessing buckets of experience, the Swiss maestro is now back with the brand as he looks to help the newbies bed in to the series in their maiden Formula E season.
The decision to sign Jani remains a superb one and, coupled with his sheer class and consistent driving ability, his friendship with Andre Lotterer – whom he drove with in the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans – will help galvanise a young team.
“It is a very intensive learning process for us. We are making progress and are confident that we will learn more ahead of our first race in Riyadh,” said Jani.
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