We've been watching Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi race for years. We remember him competing for Toyota and then Sauber in F1, before he bounced around between series and teams. This year, we watched him race in the World Endurance Championship. Kamui sat on the pole in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, only to suffer a heartbreaking mechanical problem to take him out of the competition. Now, though, Kobayashi gets a chance at a fresh start in yet another racing series, as he'll make his Formula E debut racing for MS&AD Andretti in the opener of Season Four, a double header in Hong Kong on Dec. 2 and 3, 2017, according to the team.
"We are very fortunate to have a driver of Kobayashi's caliber in the No. 27 MS&AD Andretti car to start the season in Hong Kong," said Andretti Formula E CEO Michael Andretti. "He has shown what he can do in both Formula 1 and WEC, making Formula E a perfect next step."
Despite his years of racing experience, Kobayashi has his work cut out for him in Hong Kong. "I will be going to the race weekend without testing," he said, "which is not an easy thing, to be honest." He says he has plenty of support from his team, though, and is "really looking forward to having good races."
Kobayashi will be driving alongside teammate and three-year Formula E veteran Antonio Felix da Costa. Autosport reports that BMW DTM driver Tom Blomqvist – who tested with Andretti and is listed on the team's full-season entry – is expected to race in a majority of this season's Formula E races.
While Kobayashi will be representing Japan on the Formula E grid, there is no race planned on Japanese soil. Adrian Britten, Director of Brand & Communications for MS Amlin (which is the international arm of Japanese insurance company MS&AD), said, "The welcome return of a Japanese driver to the Formula E grid will hopefully encourage a future Formula E race in Japan."
Kamui Kobayashi to race for Andretti in Formula E season opener originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:35:00 EST.