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Beijing set to host launch of Formula E

By China Daily (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-29 06:55

The flag drops on FIA's new Formula E championship series on Sept 13 at Beijing's Olympic Green.

Formula E features formula cars powered by electricity.

The new circuit represents a vision for the future and serves as a framework for research and development of electric vehicles.

"The fact the curtain raiser was given to Beijing is in recognition of China's automobile racing and environmental protection," said Wei Di, vice-chairman of the Federation of Automobile Sports of China.

After thanking the city and government authorities for their enthusiastic reception, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said: "I walked part of the circuit and visited areas where the first infrastructure holes have been drilled and it's just an incredible feeling and something that everyone here is excited about.

"We're also delighted to have signed the broadcast deal with CCTV-5, increasing our global reach and showcasing sustainable mobility to an even wider audience."

Beginning in Beijing, the championship will take place in nine cities - including London and Buenos Aires - and the cars will speed around iconic landmarks. For the inaugural season, 10 teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head.

Operating as an 'open championship', the series gives car manufacturers and constructors the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations in a racing environment, designing cars to technical specifications set by the FIA.

The championship centers around the core values of energy, environment and entertainment.

Organizers describe the competition as a fusion of engineering, technology, sport, science, design, music and entertainment - all combining to drive the change toward an electric future.

Ma Qinghua, China's first driver to hold a F1 license, will drive for Team China in Beijing. The Shanghai native this year signed with French team Citroen for the World Touring Car Championships.

After Beijing, the championship goes to Putrajaya, Malaysia (Oct 18); Punta del Esta, Uruguay, (Dec 13); Buenos Aires (Jan 10); Miami and Long Beach, US (March 14 and April 4); Monte Carlo (May 9); Berlin (May 30); and London (June 27).

The host city for another stop in February is yet to be confirmed.

(China Daily 05/29/2014 page23)

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