The huge Olympic park, developed during London’s 2012 Olympic Games could soon play host to an all-electric motor racing championship based on Formula One.
Former Science Minister Lord Drayson, now owner of Drayson Racing Technologies, told reporters the site in east London was being lined up as a “potential venue” when the Formula E championship starts in 2014.
The competition is set to feature 10 races in cities across the globe, with Rio de Janeiro and Rome already confirmed and discussions said to be ongoing with London, Paris, New York, and Miami, as well as cities in China and India.
The organizers want to put on city-based races to act as showcase for the urban audiences expected to comprise the main market for electric cars, said Drayson, who was appointed scientific adviser to Formula E.
Just as many features now common in cars such as rear view mirrors and fuel injection were pioneered in traditional motor racing, Formula E is designed to advance the development and subsequent mainstream adoption of electric cars.
Drayson said the advent of the championship, which was officially endorsed by international governing body the FIA in August, represented “a huge opportunity” to harness the potential of motorsport to help speed up the roll out of electric vehicles.
THE RACING RULES
Rules for the championship are yet to be finalised, but Drayson said the hour long races are likely to feature 10 teams with two drivers competing for a €6m prize fund.
Each driver would have two electric cars capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km per hour in three seconds and with a top speed of 220km/h. Current Formula 1 cars reach speeds of more than 300km/h and travel from 0 to 100km/h in around 1.7 seconds.
The Formula E cars are likely to be able to drive at high speed for around 25 minutes, so drivers will have to use one car for the first half of the race, before parking it and sprinting 100 metres to their fully charged-up second car.
However, Drayson said the aim in the longer term would be to have race tracks fitted with pads in the track surface that would charge cars’ batteries wirelessly while racing, removing the need to stop and charge cars.
What will be of great interest in the coming few years, is the leap that EV technology will take and for all F1 fans, the packaging of entertainment and race strategy that will want us to be avid followers. What say you 😉