Long Beach has an important place in motorsports history of motorsports, having hosted many Indy Car races, Formula Drift events, and a few Formula One competitions as well. Now the famous Streets of Long Beach circuit will host one of the two U.S. Formula E races in 2015. The California date is set for April 4th, 2015 three weeks after the race in Miami.
The new series will feature a number of drivers with Formula One experience, such as Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi, Karun Chandok, Tonio Liuzzi and Takumo Sato. In addition, Marco Andretti and China’s Ma Qing Hua will participate in the series.
The event will be called the Long Beach ePrix, and will be run on a shortened version of the regular street circuit featuring seven corners spread over 1.6 miles. The Formula E format calls for all practice, qualifying and racing to take place in the course of one day, with drivers swapping cars instead of batteries. For the first year, the fledgling sport is offering free tickets in hopes of attracting spectators who will hopefully become fans in the future.
The first season will feature ten races spread around the world from China to Europe, South America and the US. You can check out the full first-year calendar here.
Expectations are high for this new racing format, which has attracted such famous names as Drayson, Andretti and Prost. These people sense a business opportunity and probably wouldn’t mind at all if they siphoned a few fans away from Formula One. But will people pay to view racing that is virtually silent? That is the $64,000 question.
Source: Formula E