The electric cars of the FIA Formula E Championship are coming to New York City (the only Real City, they keep telling me) for the first time, and, if you’re one of the 8.5 million people here, you may be going. Here’s everything you need to know about the race and details you might have missed, like the fact that you can’t drive a car to the car race this weekend.
What Is It, And Where Exactly Are They Racing?
Good question. It’s in New York City, a large place with more random neighborhood names than there are words in the dictionary.
The FIA Formula E Championship is an all-electric racing series that’s making its first-ever stop on the streets of NYC for a doubleheader this weekend. It’s more of a harbor race than a street race, and they’ll be competing in Red Hook, Brooklyn right next to the cruise-ship terminal and the water. Fancy.
The track is a 1.947-kilometer, 1.21-mile course with a whole lot of tight turns, which you can see to the left. The 10 corners and pit lane are mind-bogglingly tight, as you can see in the track map, which should make for an interesting race.
Formula E’s website also says the track will have lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, which sounds incredibly patriotic—unlike the absence of gas-guzzling V8 monsters out there racing.
The eVillage you see mentioned in that track map is a big display area full of activities and other seemingly interesting things to do, like browsing through fuel-efficient/fuel-denying cars and trying out different racing simulators.
Your friendly Jalopnik staff will be there this weekend, so come hang out if you’d like. We sometimes have stickers.
What Am I Watching Again?
Well, in addition to everything being electric and new-wave, there are 10 teams and 20 drivers out on course. Races begin with a standing start and last about an hour, and drivers have to make a mandatory pit stop each race to swap out cars rather than refuel like in gas-powered racing series. Each event gets multiple practice sessions, and the field is set by a day-of qualifying session.
Since it’s a doubleheader, they’ll race on both Saturday and Sunday. Each race will be 43 laps, and a ton of other racing will go on in between—there will be a couple of Roborace demonstrations on track, and the “Federation of Drone Racing” will be running some races near the harbor as well.
Roborace, if you hadn’t heard, is Formula E’s planned support series that uses electric, driverless cars. The series hasn’t kicked off for competition just yet, but its prototype goes on track to show its progress every once in a while.
How Do I Get Tickets?
The tickets are on sale here, and they’re a little pricey. The Formula E website says single-day race tickets run $85 for standard admission, $55 for students and $42.50 for children ages 5 to 15. Weekend race tickets are $150 for standard admission, $95 for students and $75 for kids ages 5 to 15.
If you’re under 5 years old, well, it doesn’t say what you should do about tickets. But then again, maybe don’t read this blog if you’re under 5 years old.
There’s also a discounted ticket price for large groups, if you and all of your electric-car fanatics are itching for some racing this weekend. It’s $68 a person if you bring the whole crew (which would require having eight-plus people total and seven-plus friends).
How Do I Get There?
There’s a ton of public transit to get you somewhere near the race track, but the series said there is absolutely no parking on site. Maybe it’s because they don’t want all of those gas guzzlers smogging up the place.
The Formula E website has an entire rundown of different ways to get to the track, which far surpass my knowledge of NYC’s public-transit system. Please take the series’ word for it here.
If I Can’t Come, How Do I Watch It?
- 7:55 a.m. ET — Practice on Fox Sports Go
- 10:25 p.m. ET — Practice on Fox Sports Go
- 9 p.m. ET — Qualifying (delayed) on Fox Sports 2
- 10 p.m. ET — Race No. 1 (delayed) on Fox Sports 2
- 7 a.m. ET — Practice on Fox Sports Go
- 11 a.m. ET — Qualifying (delayed) on Fox Sports 2
- 12:30 p.m. ET — Race on Fox Sports (channel not specified)
Now go out there and get you some of that electric-car racing. It’s the future.