Members of the Chinese Government together with city officials and local dignitaries gathered in Beijing for a special ceremony to officially welcome the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship, and to launch the Beijing ePrix set for September 13 2014.
The event was attended by more than 200 distinguished guests and was held at the seven star Pangu Hotel – which overlooks the city’s National Aquatics Centre and Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium, both of which provide landmarks for the temporary street circuit that will be used.
The event also saw Formula E extend its global television outreach by signing an initial free-to-air broadcast agreement with CCTV-5 – the main sports channel in the People’s Republic of China and part of the China Central Television network. The deal will see the station televise all 10 Formula E races in full together with a regular highlights package and live coverage of the Beijing ePrix.
China Central Television is the principal state broadcaster in mainland China with a network of 45 channels – the largest number of television sub-channels in the world – and has a potential reach of 200 million plus people. It joins previously announced broadcasters FOX Sports, covering the US and 88 territories around the world, Japan’s TV Asahi and ITV in the UK.
Formula E is the world’s first ever fully-electric race series using open-wheel cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph. Its 10 teams have already been confirmed and feature some of the leading names in motorsport including a Chinese team led by Steven Lu. A total of 20 drivers will take part, two per team, six of which have already been presented: Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi for Audi Sport Abt, Jaime Alguersuari and Sam Bird for Virgin Racing and recently announced Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna for Mahindra Racing. The new championship is designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans whilst helping to promote the electric vehicle industry and showcase technology.
Guests were also able to view the fully-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car, transported to the venue by championship logistics partner DHL.
Pre-registration for tickets for the Beijing ePrix will be available in the coming days priced from 488RMB to 688RMB (55-85 Euros).[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]