Q&A with Gildo Pallanca Pastor, boss of the Venturi Formula E Team

Q&A with Gildo Pallanca Pastor, boss of the Venturi Formula E Team, on the current season, the expectations for the season finale in Canada and the prospects of success in the coming Formula E seasons.

Mr Pastor, how to you assess the achievements of your team in the season so far?

P: Our team definitely already made for several highlights, this year. Such as the second positions Maro Engel secured in the Super Pole in Mexico and the qualifying session in Monaco. Nonetheless, we have to still improve the car as we want to have a car that is successful in all the areas – at the latest for the coming season.

Could you please describe your personal highlight of the current, the third season? 

P: Most definitely the past race in New York as I regard New York as my hometown, today, and it felt as if Formula E was racing across my own garden. Both of our drivers had the speed, with Maro on 6th and Tom on 9th position in the grid, but we were a little bit fortuneless. Nevertheless, we brought home a fastest lap and a 7th place, but it should be possible to improve this in Montreal.

But I have to admit that I first of all already am thinking about the fourth and the fifth seasons and am witnessing with delight that the team is making big progress and that I am sure, we will secure great results in the future.

What are your expectations regarding the season finale in Montreal? 

P: I don’t know the Canadian circuit yet but having seen what New York created for us I hope that the circuit in Canada will be similar. Should this be the case our chances will be bright. In NY, overtaking was virtually impossible as the circuit was that narrow and the corners tight. In consideration of the fact that Venturi uses to deliver in the qualifying sessions, Montreal’s circuit could suit us well. A good qualifying session and don’t let anybody pass in the race. [smile] At the end of the day we had to cope with too many ups and downs but as I already said: We are on a very good path for the coming season.

What are your expectations for this coming season in consideration of the recently announced works involvements of Audi and BMW? 

P: The task definitely won’t be easier but we currently are working flat out on the homologation of the next generation of our vehicle and this car will be a big step forward. Our car for the fourth season features a new gearbox, will be lower – and we extensively worked on every detail. I have to admit that I think that we will have one of the best cars on the grid. But no doubt, prevailing against the big manufacturers will be difficult. But it’s good for Formula E that they join the series. The series is growing and in the meantime it has become interesting for all the major manufacturers.  I’m happy to have been a part of it from day one. We arguably are the only ones who are executing development work jointly with big players in the automotive industry and that’s really interesting.

What is your vision of the team in the future of Formula E? 

P: It goes without saying that Venturi is small compared to Jaguar, Renault or other major manufacturers but I witness with a lot of satisfaction all these young people joining us to make progress with us. Nonetheless, it’s important to set the course for the future and look for a possibility to directly cooperate with a manufacturer.

After the season finale in Montreal, the team keeps on working right away – but on another project. The goal: to improve the current speed record for E-vehicles that was established last year by  Venturi.  

P: Exactly. I live this project, it’s unique. It’s a cooperation with the Ohio State University and we decided to let our good personal friend and driver Roger Schroer take centre stage, this year. He is an incredibly experienced driver for this kind of vehicles.

In the meantime he is 62 and I have maximum respect for him. He delivered to the max when driving at 549kph (341mph). Furthermore, it will be our last effort to improve again our own record with our VBB3. Afterwards, it will be the turn of something new.

What please?

P: Just wait and see….

On Venturi 

The Formula E team based in Monaco is the motor-racing branch of the automotive supplier Venturi Automobiles. Company owner Gildo Pallanca Pastor can be regarded as visionary when it comes to electric mobility. In 2000 he took over the management of Venturi Paris S.A. and turned the company from a small-batch car manufacturer into a supplier of innovative drive trains. Inter alia, Venturi was responsible for the retrofitting of production cars for the French post to electric drive. Co-owner of Venturi is German entrepreneur and former DTM driver Marc Gindorf.

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