Vancouver gives green flag to E-Prix electric racing event

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City council overwhelmingly approves race weekend for next summer in west coast city

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After a five-year hiatus, Formula E is set to return to Canada after Vancouver City Council overwhelmingly approved a three-day race in the False Creek neighborhood next summer.

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The nine-to-one vote – Mayor Kennedy Stewart was absent – now puts the ball firmly in ABB Formula E’s court, in hopes that the organization will strike a deal with the based race promoter. Montreal OSS Group and then includes the July date in Vancouver. in its calendar for the 2022 racing season, pending the approval of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

In addition to the races, the event will include a two-day conference focused on transportation electrification and large concerts on Friday and Saturday nights at BC Place (no acts confirmed yet, but my source mentioned Sting and Adele as heads. possible poster).

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Officially called the Vancouver E-Prix, the weekend will mark just the second time the all-electric open-wheel series has come to Canada, with the controversial 2017 event in Montreal mired in cost overruns, mayors’ politics. and major NIMBYism. The latter aspect played a big part in the demise of the Vancouver Molson Indy in 2004 after a decade and a half of huge crowds and big races at the edge of False Creek, just east of downtown Vancouver. Noise complaints from residents, along with the encroachment of the development, saw the Indy packing up and never returning.

Formula E cars aren’t noisy at all – in fact, the nearby Skytrain would be noisier – and the track will use some sections of the old Indy circuit, although according to the race promoter, “56% fewer city streets “than the Indy. Temporary stands and other observation areas will be erected for a capacity of 56,000 spectators.

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“We have mapped out the trail, we got the trail approval and we fully understand which streets need to be closed and what detours need to be made,” OSS Group CEO Matthew Carter said at the hearing of the virtual public council yesterday. “What we offer is much more than just a Formula E race. The three streams with the business conference, concerts and race are quite unique.

Expect plenty of celebrities to show up in force for the Vancouver E-Prix next July.  Here, Kate Upton checks the grid at the Montreal ePrix in 2017.
Expect plenty of celebrities to show up in force for the Vancouver E-Prix next July. Here, Kate Upton checks the grid at the Montreal ePrix in 2017. Photo by LAT

Formula E city development director Oliver McCrudden said he was impressed with the OSS group’s plan.

“Their analysis and event planning has been exemplary, and their vision for a running event in your city clearly shows me that Vancouver would sit wonderfully alongside the other names on our global roster,” said McCrudden from the UK. United.

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Carter agrees and hopes the multi-event concept will become a model for Formula E racing in the future.

“I hope (Vancouver) becomes the jewel, the crown of Formula E, and that they extend this business model to other cities around the world,” said the CEO of the OSS Group. “It’s a very different proposition from a normal Formula E race.”

The motion to organize the race was presented to city council by Sarah Kirby-Yung, an independent councilor; and Green Party advisor Michael Wiebe as a way to help the tourism and hospitality industries affected by the Vancouver and British Columbia pandemic. The economic benefits are estimated at around $ 80 million.

This morning, Kirby-Yung said she was delighted the board was so far behind on the race weekend. “It took work, but it’s so important for Vancouver to show that we are welcoming these events. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. “


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