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The Future Is Now

FIA Formula E action. [Photo by Audi Motorsport]

FIA Formula E action. [Photo by Audi Motorsport]

By Eddie LePine

When I first told colleagues that I was going to the FIA Formula E race in New York last year, some scoffed. Why would you want to see electric cars, that has to be boring. Why would anyone want to go to that, they asked.

Well, I went and believe me, the racing was great and it was anything but boring. As a matter of fact, FIA Formula E is giving us a glimpse of the future of motorsport, worldwide. Whether it be open top formula car racing or sports car racing, the future is electric and if you haven’t yet been to a FIA Formula E race, you should try and get to New York in July for the 2018 Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix.

The Brooklyn track is a 2.373 km racing circuit with 14 turns in the shadow of the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty. There couldn’t be a better place to expose the masses to the racing of the future. Face it, the future of racing depends on exposing the sport to new audiences and FIA Formula E has succeeded in that very well. They are also attracting younger race fans, which the sport desperately needs to thrive and grow into the future. Regardless of how you feel about electric auto racing now, you must realize that all racing will eventually be electric. You might as well get on board now and give it a shot. The future will wait on no one.

The cars and the competition are fantastic, and the two races to be held in Brooklyn in July close out the 2017-2018 season, with even more advanced cars coming down the road.

Top drivers such as Abt, Di Grassi, Buemi, Lotterer, Piquet, Heidfeld and Bird compete in this series. The racing is close and intense and the drivers tell you that these cars are a blast to drive.

Manufacturers are getting behind FIA Formula e as well, with Audi Sport, BMW, DS Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, Mahindra Racing, Mercedes-Benz, NextEV NIO, Nissan, Penske Autosport, Porsche and Venturi Automobiles all signed up for next season.

“The future landscape of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is growing more and more, and today as we confirm two additional manufacturers for the sixth season we have more evidence of the success of this concept,” said Jean Todt, FIA President. “Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are both brands with long and decorated histories in motorsport, and the level of all of the 11 manufacturers that will take to the track from 2019/20 is very high. Formula E is going from strength to strength, and the commitment of manufacturers to sustainable racing technology is very encouraging.”

The series just keeps getting better and better, with larger crowds all the time. The most recent round, in Zurich, Switzerland was the first motorsports event held there since 1955 and the crowds were tremendous. Electric is the wave of the future and the future is now.

The 2017-2018 season included races in Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Chile, Mexico City, Uruguay, Paris, Berlin and Zurich. Worldwide racing for the motorsport of the future and it all comes to the US in July.

If you are a motorsports fan, you have got to give FIA Formula E a try, you won’t regret it. I hope to see you in New York on July 14-15.

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Eddie has been involved in motorsports for over 30 years as photographer, columnist, and driver. Eddie also is now a retired racer (well, retired unless a good ride pops up).