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Formula E

Hong Kong ePrix middle act in three-week festival of major sporting events

Double header of electric street races on Central harbourfront in December will be sandwiched between Hong Kong Golf Open and International Races at Sha Tin

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 June, 2017, 5:50pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 June, 2017, 10:35pm

Hong Kong is to enjoy a festival of major sporting events this year with the return of the Formula E Hong Kong ePrix bolstering a stellar three-week calendar.

The world’s premier electric street racing series will open its fourth season with a double header on the Central harbourfront over the weekend of December 2-3.

It should whet the appetite for sports fans ahead of the Longines Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin the following weekend.

The UBS Hong Kong Golf Open at Fanling has also been moved to November 23-27, to avoid another clash with the International Races like last year.

Hong Kong held its inaugural ePrix last October with over 20,000 people in attendance, where a thrilling, incident-packed race was won by Sebastien Buemi.

The event wasn’t without its teething problems, though, with criticism from residents over high ticket prices, traffic disruptions and barriers around Central preventing a free view.

Alejandro Agag, chief executive of Formula E, also wrote off a potential HK$50 million loss for organisers as “irrelevant”.

The issues encountered last year certainly haven’t put the government off from welcoming the event back with open arms.

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“We welcome the FIA’s announcement of Hong Kong as the first stop of the 2017-18 Formula E Championship,” said Gregory So Kam-leung, secretary for commerce and economic development.

“The government will continue to fully support the organiser to host this top-notch car racing event in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s Formula E debut was an incident-packed thriller - and it’s just the start

“Last year, this event showcased that Hong Kong is Asia’s world city and the events capital of Asia,” So claimed.

This year, both Saturday and Sunday will feature a qualifying session and a ‘super pole’ shoot-out leading up to each ePrix race.

Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi wins incident-packed maiden Hong Kong ePrix

“We are excited to bring the Hong Kong ePrix back to the streets in Central in 2017,” said Formula E Hong Kong chief Alan Fang.

“Once again Hong Kong has been granted pride of place as the opening event on the global Formula E circuit.

“We look forward to kicking off a fantastic fourth season with all of the energy and entertainment for which both Formula E and Hong Kong are renowned.”