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Formula E

Revving up: New York joins Hong Kong on Formula E calendar as Brooklyn street race is announced

As Hong Kong awaits its debut of the electric racing series on Central streets in two weeks’ time on October 9, organisers unveil a leg of the championship to be held in Brooklyn next July

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 September, 2016, 5:47pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 September, 2016, 10:01am

Formula E racing, coming to Hong Kong this October, has been given a big boost with confirmation of the series moving into Brooklyn next year, where a FIA-sanctioned race will be held within the five boroughs of New York.

A nearly two kilometre-long track has been revealed and the race through the Red Hook neighbourhood will be called the New York City ePrix – a double-header over two days next July.

The Formula E series will make its long-awaited Hong Kong debut over streets in Central in two weeks’ time on October 9.

“New York City is where technology, sustainability and commerce all connect,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “There’s no better home for the ePrix. Bringing this international event to the five boroughs is a huge win for New York City.

“It will bring thousands of visitors, boost Brooklyn tourism and spur investment in our neighbourhoods.”

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The circuit will require no street closures and run around Pier 11 and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

Formula E is not receiving any financial assistance from the city or the state to host the race but will depend on corporate sponsorship to offset costs.

The series will invest in infrastructure improvements at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and also has promised to hire local workers, partner with local small businesses and hotels, and offer New York students hands-on opportunities to learn about engineering, technology and vehicle trades.

Formula E has coveted an event in New York since it was launched two years ago. The series also has stops in Buenos Aires, Monaco, Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

But Formula E chief executive officer Alejandro Agag had been eyeing New York all along, and once the Red Hook site was selected, the process moved quickly to get a deal done. The backdrop along the circuit will be views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

“To race in New York City is a historic moment, not only for Formula E, but for motor sport in general,” Agag said. “It again highlights the philosophy of Formula E to bring fully electric racing to the world’s greatest cities.

“When we originally started the project, we could only dream of bringing Formula E to a place like New York, with arguably the most recognisable skyline of any city in the world.”

Agag hopes the race will be the series’ season finale, but he noted the FIA is protective of Nascar, which races in New Hampshire on the same July weekend that Formula E hopes to be in New York.

The series will not return to Long Beach, California, in 2017, but Agag is hopeful to add a second race in the US, on the west coast, in the future.

For now, New York is satisfying to series officials and team owners.

Michael Andretti, an original owner in the series, said the opportunity to race in New York was huge for the series and sponsors.

“To organise a race in this market is a huge accomplishment for Formula E and everyone involved,” Andretti said. “As an American team competing in the FIA Formula E championship, it’s going to be great to showcase this sport and all that Formula E represents to our home country audience.”