Pipo Derani will make his public debut in a Formula E car after being selected by the Mahindra team to participate in the official rookie test next month.
IMSA Sportscar frontrunner Derani will get a full day of running in one of the Mahindra M6 ELECTRO cars, usually driven by Pascal Wehrlein and Jerome d’Ambrosio.
The test will take place on Sunday March 1st, the day after the Marrakesh E-Prix, and will be the second time Derani has driven a Mahindra after a brief private test in August 2018.
Derani will join several other recently announced high-profile drivers for the Marrakesh test, which is the only in-season day of development that the teams can complete this season.
“The opportunity to test again for Mahindra at the Marrakesh rookie test is one that I am very much looking forward to making the most of,” said Derani.
“Being able to contribute to a proven race-winning team like Mahindra is the perfect introduction to Formula E and I am very grateful to [team boss] Dillbagh Gill.
“The test will be a crucial one for the team and I hope I can contribute with the experience I gathered over the years working with great engineers and manufacturers.
“I have met some of the team already this week in the UK and have had simulator session time to ensure I am as prepared as possible for Marrakesh.
“I have been looking seriously at Formula E for a few years now and I see this test as another important milestone in becoming more involved in the future.”
Derani is one of the most successful drivers in the IMSA Sportscar Championship over recent seasons, and counts three 12 Hours of Sebring wins and a victory at both the Daytona 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans race as his major achievements.
This season he is racing in IMSA with the Action Express Cadillac team.
Sam Dejonghe will join Derani in the team for his third consecutive rookie test.
Mahindra’s season starts in Marrakesh
Gill says that the next round in Marrakesh will mean a fresh start for the team.
Changes made to its homologated gearbox design prior to the Mexico City race ensured that both Wehrlein and d’Ambrosio started from the back of the grid and took pitlane penalties, but both still managed to finish within the points.
The Race understands that the specific issue suffered by Mahindra was directly related to the differential of the car design and that this had to be modified to guarantee reliability.
“Our season starts in Marrakesh really. That is where we will really be involved and Pascal proved we can be involved at the front after his qualifying and super pole performances [in Mexico],” said Gill.
“We know we have a quick car but because of the issue we just have not been able to show it so much yet.
“The issues this season have been frustrating but we have addressed them and now we have a lot to look forward to.
“The difficulties have made Pascal and Jerome hungrier, the whole team is hungrier.
“We have a good amount to prove, which makes us excited for the races in front of us.”