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Formula E is coming to Long Beach next year

May 22, 2014, 9:52 PM EDT


Formula 5000. Formula One. Champ Car. IndyCar. And now, Formula E.

A new chapter in the venerable racing history of Long Beach, California will be written next year with the first-ever Long Beach ePrix, featuring the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship.

The race will take place on April 4, 2015 and feature a 1.6-mile course that uses seven turns of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach circuit, including its signature hairpin corner.

Interestingly, the famous blast down the Shoreline Drive main straight will be interrupted as cars will take a quick right on South Pine Avenue before flicking left to resume the more familiar configuration.

Jim Michaelian, president/CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (which runs the TGPLB), is happy to have Formula E use his race’s infrastructure according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

“We look forward to it,” Michaelian said. “I think it’s a neat concept and it says a lot about where some aspects of motor racing is going.”

The Long Beach ePrix will run less than two weeks before the TGPLB, which is set for April 17-19, 2015.

According to the series, Long Beach was chosen to host F-E because of “its commitment to sustainable mobility and long-running success hosting large scale sporting events and high-visibility special events.”

The series’ release also made sure to note that California is the top market for plug-in electric vehicles in the country, which certainly goes well with F-E’s environmental stance.

“They all share our passion for not only motorsport but for promoting sustainable mobility, and I have every confidence that the people of Long Beach and Southern California are going to experience a revolutionary, and of course very exciting, new racing event come April 2015,” Formula E Holdings CEO Alejandro Agag said.

“The goal of Formula E is to showcase the true potential of electric vehicles and to inspire people to believe in these cars for their own personal use.”

F-E gets its inaugural season underway Sept. 13 in Beijing.

  1. gbart22 - May 22, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    My issue with FE is that it seems so gimmicky. What is it? A driver development series? A full fledged number one series where top drivers will go? How can it be the second one when we know formula 1 drivers won’t be racing in it. I love the idea of the electric cars but it should have been left for something f1 to naturally evolve into over time instead it feels like they jumped the gun with it. The only way I see it being successful is if they make it a developmental series like the nationwide and truck series are for nascar and we see drivers racing in it eventually jump to f1 otherwise it just feels pointless

    • ttnvrl8 - May 23, 2014 at 1:06 AM

      Ever heard of being in front of the ball? Why should we wait to follow F1? Yes, the FE is certainly in need of an audience, but with innovations for street cars derived from race cars in so many areas over time, again, why would we wait for the techno aholes in F1 to get their greedy, patent-grubby hands on the technology?

      As to the best drivers coming, it’s a developmental series, but for a technology. So, maybe the FE will be F1 in 10-15 years, and the best drivers will have to come.

  2. lukedunphysscienceproject - May 23, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    I will be rooting for them, and I will certainly watch it. But given the way F1 fans (and even team owners) have reacted to the new engines this year, I am very curious to see how people respond to race cars that make virtually no noise.

    I know this notion enrages certain people who always respond with indignation to my comments on the subject, but noise is part of racing. Fans acceptance of racing with this element removed will be a factor, whether you want to believe it or not.

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