Superstar DJ Steve Aoki follows father’s footsteps in motorsports, becomes E1 racing team owner

As the UIM E1 World Championship league moves closer to hitting the water on its inaugural season, the electric boat racing teams that will compete is truly starting to take shape. The latest team owner is DJ and entrepreneur Steve Aoki, who will lead Aoki Racing against a current lineup of five other star-studded E1 teams.

Although the inaugural UIM E1 World Championship has been pushed to 2024, the nascent electric boat racing league continues to progress in its technology and the big names that will be competing.

The league’s proprietary electric boats, called RaceBirds, will compete side-by-side for the first time in Rotterdam, Netherlands a couple weeks from now as the league’s cofounders, each with experience in sustainability and motorsports, look to entice more and more celebrities to join the fun.

To date, E1 has announced five racing teams beginning with Team Venice back in the spring of 2022. Since then, Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez, tennis great Rafael Nadal, and former Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba have all signed on as team owners. However, E1 got some serious American clout when sure-fire NFL hall of famer Tom Brady signed on in July.

Today, E1 has announced another American as its latest racing team owner – Steve Aoki.

Aoki racing
DJ and E1 team owners Steve Aoki alongside league co-founder and CEO Rodi Basso / Credit E1

Aoki Racing becomes E1’s latest team to compete in 2024

Many people know Steve Aoki as a world famous DJ and one of the heirs to the Benihana fortune, thanks to his father Rocky. However, many people don’t know that the Aoki’s also have a pedigree in motorsports. Aside from a life as a professional wrestler, Rocky Aoki was an offshore powerboat racer in the 1970s and 1980s.

Clearly Steve’s thirst for adventure and adrenaline is in his genes and looks to carve a similar path as his father on the water in E1 – but without any carbon emissions of course. Aoki Racing is the latest team to compete in E1, marking the sixth competitor to join the race card. Aoki spoke:

The UIM E1 World Championship not only offers me a chance to continue my father’s racing legacy on the water, but this time going electric! E1 is a great blend of adrenaline, sport, sustainability, and fun, and I can’t wait to develop our team to entertain fans with our racing and our parties, inspiring change and bringing people together. I’m proud to follow in my dad’s footsteps and I can’t wait to go full throttle on and off the water against the likes of Tom Brady, Rafael Nadal and Sergio Perez. I love creating outside of my usual spaces, so I’ll be seeing you all on the dockside as we electrify racing on the water.

Some of Aoki’s E1 competitors might bring more experience in head-to-head competition, but none of the other team owners will be able to DJ a massive dance party after the race. We could see the entrepreneur throwing a birthday cake at his winning racers rather than dousing them in champagne. The racing league appears to be expecting such entertainment from the music producer as well:

Through the UIM E1 World Championship, Aoki will be competing, performing and creating all at once, bringing music and captivating shows to E1 events, which are designed to be a powerful platform mixing sport, entertainment and tangible change to build a more sustainable future for our planet and our waters.

Expect to see a flashy Aoki Racing RaceBird on the waters of Jeddah Saudi Arabia this coming January when the first-ever UIM E1 World Championship kicks off. Expect to see some cake, too. E1’s cofounders said more team owner announcements will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

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