Motorsport: Hong Kong to host Formula E race in October 2016
- Updated: October 9, 2015
October 9, 2015: Hong Kong will feature on the FIA Formula E Championship for the first time next year when it hosts a race on October 9, 2016, one year from today.
The first Hong Kong ePrix will be held on a street circuit in the city’s Central district, electrifying the harbourfront with top-flight, international motorsport – minus the emissions.
Set against the iconic skyline, the inaugural Hong Kong ePrix will be part of the third season of the FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first fully-electric racing series.
The Hong Kong ePrix is privately funded, with the government providing minor infrastructure improvement works in order to ensure the track complies with all FIA safety requirements. Spectator stands and viewing areas are currently being confirmed, and the surrounding buildings will provide numerous vantage points for thousands more to watch all the action.
The launch was officiated by Chief Executive CY Leung, Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E Holdings and Lawrence Yu Kam-Kee, President of the Hong Kong Automobile Association.
Yu, a driving force behind the project, said: “I would like to thank the Hong Kong Government, and particularly the Tourism Commission, for their support in helping to make the Hong Kong ePrix a reality. The street circuit will showcase our city to millions around the world, and demonstrate that Hong Kong can stage a major international event of the very highest calibre. The Hong Kong ePrix will be far more than a race; it will be a celebration for the entire community.”
Agag added: “The Hong Kong ePrix will be one of the highlights of the FIA Formula E Championship calendar. As one of the most innovative, cutting-edge and fun-loving cities in the world, Hong Kong and Formula E share many of the same qualities. We look forward to bringing all the fun and entertainment of Formula E to this amazing city, and international motorsport back to Hong Kong.”
The approximately 2km-long track will run between Lung Wo Road and the Star Ferry, with cars reaching speeds of up to 225kph (140mph). The circuit runs clockwise and features a half-a-kilometre main straight between Turns 1 and 2, which are also the circuit’s best overtaking opportunities, plus a chicane.
The Formula E championship has attracted vast global attention since its launch last year, with global TV audience of more than 190 million during first season. The championship is centered on the three core values of energy, the environment and entertainment.
The first Formula E season in 2014-15 included races on the streets of 10 cities, from China to North America and Europe, before concluding in June this year in London’s Battersea Park, where Nelson Piquet Junior, son of the former three-time F1 World Champion, clinched the title.
For the second season, which gets underway in Beijing on October 24, Formula E becomes an open championship allowing teams and manufacturers to develop their cars, starting with new powertrain solutions – incorporating the e-motor, inverter and transmission – with future regulation changes allowing for battery development.
Drivers for the second season include major names such as former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, Nick Neidfeld, Bruno Senna and defending Formula E champion Piquet.
The cars are powered by electricity produced via a highly-advanced glycerine (glycerol) generator from UK-based Aquafuel, which has developed ground-breaking new technology for the combustion of glycerine in standard diesel generators.
Glycerine is a carbon-neutral fuel; safe, odourless, non-toxic and water soluble, it is an abundant by-product of biodiesel production. The Formula E generator charges the cars quickly – from flat to full in 50 minutes – safely, and without producing CO2 emissions.
Source: Hong Kong ePrix (www.hkformulae.com); Editing by SportAsia