NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Formula E electric series will have lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop next July after Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood was announced on Wednesday as the venue for two season-ending races.
The track layout, still subject to final approval, was revealed at a news conference at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
The ePrix double-header, on a Saturday and Sunday, will feature the first open-wheel races sanctioned by the International Automobile Federation to take place within the city’s five boroughs.
“To race in New York City is a historic moment — not only for Formula E but for motorsport in general — and again highlights the philosophy of Formula E to bring fully-electric racing to the world’s greatest cities,” said Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag.
“When we originally started the project we could only dream of bringing Formula E to a place like New York, with arguably the most recognizable skyline of any city in the world.”
Formula One has long coveted a New York race, with a Grand Prix in New Jersey listed on the provisional 2014 calendar before disappearing.
Electric racing, with a quieter and more city friendly format, has got there first.
“New York City is where technology, sustainability and commerce all connect. There’s no better home for the ePrix. Bringing this international event to the five boroughs is a huge win for New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“It will bring thousands of visitors, boost Brooklyn tourism and spur investment in our neighborhoods.”
The third season of the series, with 14 races in 12 cities, starts next month in Hong Kong.
Formula E launched in 2014 and holds races in city centers around the world.
The cars, which make little noise, are far slower than Formula One or the U.S. Indy Car series and cannot complete a race distance due to the limitations of battery technology, although that should change by season five.
Drivers currently have to change cars midway through races.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)