For a motor racing team on the cusp of an exciting new venture, a hard-bitten and wily driver such as Andre Lotterer perfectly fits the bill.
TAG Heuer, one of the most iconic watch-makers on the planet, and luxury car manufacturer Porsche have teamed up to tackle a fresh frontier – the world of Formula E.
Both brands are no strangers to high-level motorsport, but 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 globe’s premier electric-only racing series.
It’s appropriate, then, that seated in one of their cockpits will be a man who has electricity coursing through his veins.
Active as a professional since the turn of the century, it’s hard to find a racing series worth its salt that hasn’t featured Lotterer at some point.
The Belgian-German flirted with a Formula 1 race seat after taking the traditional route up through the Formula 3 ranks, but was passed over by Jaguar for a spot on the grid.
Their loss was to be many others’ gain as, not content with life as a back-up, the versatile Lotterer took his vast talents to Asia in 2003 at the age of just 21.
Over there, he worked his way up the ranks as both an open-wheel and touring car driver, the highlights of which saw him clinch both the Super GT and Formula Nippon titles.
Towards the end of the decade, though, Lotterer clearly felt that he had unfinished business in Europe – even paying out of his own pocket to prove it.
Indeed, in 2009, the Duisburg-born speedster latched onto low-budget team Kolles and started a love affair with the oldest sports car race there is: 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He and team-mate Charles Zwolsman defied the odds – even after a last-minute injury to the third driver – and finished a remarkable seventh, only behind endurance racing’s traditional heavyweights.
A decade later, the 37-year-old can now call himself a three-time Le Mans winner and a FIA World Endurance champion.
Such has been his success that a second chance in F1 came his way in 2014 for Caterham but, despite out-qualifying team-mate Marcus Ericsson in the one-race deal at Spa-Francorchamps, a mechanical failure on the first lap robbed him of a proper race.
However, another Formula soon came calling in a decision that would eventually lead him to TAG Heuer Porsche.
Lotterer decided to venture out of his comfort zone once again and joined Techeetah in 2017, sparking a two-year partnership with Jean-Eric Vergne that brought the team heaps of success.
Alongside Vergne, who won the drivers’ title in both 2018 and 2019, Lotterer helped Techeetah to the teams’ championship last season in a fitting end to his time with the Chinese racing outfit.
It was no mean feat for a newcomer to a radically different, boundary-pushing motorsport series that Lotterer concedes is the ‘most difficult thing to drive’ as a pure racer.
Now Lotterer is determined to lead the evolution of TAG Heuer Porsche as they get to grips with their first season in the paddock.
“I will give everything and fight like a lion – I am a big Porsche fan and it is an honour, I am very proud to race for them,” said Lotterer.
That’s good news for Porsche fans – Lotterer clearly has a heck of a lot to give.