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Formula E car debuts in Vegas

2014-01-07 08:34

FORMULA E CAR DEBUT: Driver Lucas di Grassi demonstrates the Spark-Renault SRT_01E in Las Vegas, Nevada. Image: AFP

LAS VEGAS, USA - A new kind of race car is making its debut without screaming exhausts or exhaust fumes.

That's because the 2014 Formula E championship, called the e-Prix by the FIA, will be the first motorsport series exclusively for electric cars.

Organisers gave fans and the news media a first glimpse of a Formula E car in action at a makeshift racetrack in Las Vegas, USA.


Driver Lucas di Grassi showed the capabilities of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E designed by Spark Racing Technologies. It can reach more than 200km/h.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said: "We are a championship on a mission and that mission is to have more electric cars on the streets all around the world. People love motorsport; now they also care very much about the environment. So it's a great combination."

The unveiling of the car was timed to coincide with the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas


The championship will have 10 races, beginning September 13 2014 in Beijing and ending in June 2015 in London. Other cities on the schedule include Rio de Janeiro, Monte Carlo, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Each race will last about an hour but the batteries for only 25 minutes so drivers will have two mandatory pits stops to switch cars. According to the FIA, the electric cars can accelerate to 100km/h in three seconds reach 220km/h.

In 2013 Wheels24 reported that actor Leonardo DiCaprio had announced he would partnering France's Venturi Automobiles to enter a team in the championship. Other teams include IndyCar's Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, ex-Formula 1 team Super Aguri, Audi-backed Abt and Richard Branson's Virgin.

Teams will have two drivers and four series-provided single-seat cars in the first season for a total of 20 drivers and 40 cars. Renault has signed as car manufacturer but series officials expect perhaps five manufacturers in the second season.

Michelin will supply tyres.

Formula E race format:

Early morning: Free practice, followed by qualifying.
Late morning: Qualifying lap time record for each driver with both cars
Afternoon:  A two-hour break to  recharge the cars
Evening: Final race with three stints and two pits stops
A pit stop will involve a change of ca: When the battery runs out the driver will make pit, then run 100m to climb into a recharged car.

Read more on:    racing  |  formula e  |  motorsport

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