Formula E racing hits Montreal 2017
Motor-sport fans will have extra reason to cheer next summer, as Montreal will be hosting not one, but two open-wheel racing events during its 375th anniversary year. One of those, of course, is the annual Canadian F1 Grand prix – an event that brings in massive tourist dollars every summer and another excuse to hold a week long party. The other, will be part of the fledgling Formula E circuit; an all-electric racing series featuring a handful of former F1 pilots. Unlike the F1 event, that takes place around the landmark Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, this race will be run through the streets July 29th, 30th 2017 and the tickets go on sale December 3rd.
The third season of Formula E will come to its penultimate and final lap of 2017 here, which means that we could see a championship decided and a victor crowned. The 2.75 kilometer long course will run along Boulevard Rene-Levesque towards Vigier East, past Maison Radio-Canada, at speeds as great as two hundred and twenty kilometers an hour. The electric motor has come a long way, indeed. Twenty cars will make up the grid, and feature a few names motor racing fanatics will already know; such as Lucas Di Grassi, Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi and of inaugural champion and constant podium threat, Nelson Piquet Jr. – who was on hand at Complex Desjardins to announce the arrival of the race, alongside Mayor Denis Corderre and Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag.
“Formula E wants to bring fully-electric racing to the streets of the World’s leading cities, and Montreal is another fantastic new addition to the calendar”” said Agag, adding “Montreal is a great city with with a great vibe – the perfect place to conclude the third season of Formula E. I’m surethe drivers will revel in the opportunity to fight for the title against the backdrop of Montreal.”
It seems that motor sports are not the sole reason for Montreal’s involvement in the series, as Montreal Mayor Denis Corderre confirmed. “We wish to promote transportation electrification” said Corderre, “This race which speaks to this wish, will be conducted on an urban circuit and will be a festive family event where everyone will be able to admire the prowess of electric vehicles.”
“Montreal has everything it takes to host a formula electric race: a festive city, a city with a reputation for staging high-quality major international events, and above all a city that’s undertaken a determined shift towards electrification. And this race is the perfect showcase for those efforts. Once again, Montreal will act as a forerunner and a leader. Taking part in the third year of a new race circuit, which will only grow in stature in years to come, demonstrates that we’re not afraid to try new things and that we act on our intentions. It sends a clear message that we believe in the potential of this race and in Montreal’s potential to make it a model for all others. But it also highlights our continued efforts to initiate a shift towards the electrification of transport” expressed Mayor Corderre.
“I feel great coming here” Piquest said to the Montreal Times, “Montreal has a big history with racing. They believe in the technology and clean electricity. It is always important when we go to these fifferent venues and the city is behind us.” When asked to compare Formula E with F1, Piquet replied “It’s far more competitive here. In Formula 1, you have a huge difference between the leaders, the big front cars, and the rest at the rear.”
The FIA sanctioned race series competes along the streets of some oh the most iconic cities on the globe, including Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Monaco, Paris, New York and soon Montreal. With the F1 weekend already an established and well celebrated event, that brings in tourists by the thousands, the signs point to this being another golden feather the cap of our fine city. Especially if our road work woes are completed in time, and the million dollar project to light the Jacques-Cartier bridge comes to fruition. And if Formula E can have a similar impact on us that Formula One does; our future just got a little brighter and whole lot greener.
By: Kieron Yates – mtltimes.ca
Photos: Arturo Las Pinas Jr. – mtltimes.ca