Formula E working on New York race (Update)

UPDATE The electric racing series confirmed that a race in the Big Apple is "on top" of its wish list. Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag told SBD Global at the inaugural Mexico City ePrix on Saturday that he is flying to N.Y. on Sunday to "explore possibilities" for a second U.S. race.

"I don’t want to do a race for the sake of doing it," he said. "I want a race that gives us real momentum there. I really want to go to a top place. [N.Y.] is my top of the top." After having two U.S. races during its first season, Formula E currently features only one race on U.S. soil — the Long Beach ePrix, which is scheduled for April 3.

Miami was replaced by Mexico City in season 2 after the series failed to attract local sponsorship support in South Florida. With Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, Formula E has two U.S. teams. Jay Penske, the son of Roger Penske and co-owner of the Dragon Racing team, said he is putting a lot of pressure on the series to increase its presence in North America.

"We are very focused on getting another U.S. race," he said in Mexico City. "I’m very optimistic about a race in New York City that we are seeing even for season 3. That would be an incredible momentum."

Penske also mentioned other cities such as Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco or Dallas where he would like to see a race in the future. Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has long dreamed of a race in front of the N.Y.C. skyline, but funding issues have hampered plans for a race across the Hudson River in New Jersey. Though race promoter Leo Hindery has not yet given up on the project, there have been few developments since it was first included on the F1 calendar i

n ’13. Penske said that Formula E is not looking at a race in New Jersey and is working with a different promoter, which he did not identify. "[The race] would be in New York proper and it could be one of the world’s greatest races," Penske said. "Discussions have gone quite well and we are getting good support from the city."

The series is currently in the process of finalizing its schedule for season 3, with a preliminary calendar expected within the next 30 days. Formula E has already announced that Hong Kong will join the series next season. HJ Mai/SBJ

02/09/16

Alejandro Agag
Alejandro Agag

Formula E could be set for a season three finale on the streets of New York if series CEO Alejandro Agag's plan for a race in the American city comes together.

The all-electric racing series has already done what Formula 1 found impossible to achieve – a race in central London. Now Formula E is eyeing a race in New York – something F1 came close to achieving in 2013 before plans fell apart due to financial concerns.

Agag admitted he is currently working on getting the North American city on the calendar and believes it could happen as soon as next season: "I'm actively working on a plan to race there," he told Autosport.

"I can place the race at the end of season three, maybe. It will be difficult but it's not totally impossible we will do it in season three."

Currently the calendar stands at 11 events, but plans are afoot to add more races in Asia, a race in Canada and Australia. That would see the calendar exceeding a self-imposed limit of 12, therefore it's likely some cities will have to be dropped.

It's expected London will host just one race – pending planning permission – rather than two, whilst Agag admitted Uruguay's Punta del Este is a likely candidate to be dropped.

"One or two might fall out – Punta it's not clear we're going to continue, unfortunately," he added. [It's] the main candidate [to be dropped]."

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