New sprint to bring nighttime Formula E auto race to Eindhoven streets

Formula E race in New York City. July 14, 2019
Formula E: Alexander Sims leads the pack at turn 13 near Red Hook, Brooklyn. Dutch driver Robin Frijns is two cars behind and won the race. July 14, 2019zhukovskyDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Three entrepreneurs in Eindhoven have teamed up with political and academic leaders there to bring the all-electric race car series Formula E to the Noord-Brabant city. The organization Formula Eindhoven plans on submitting a bid for a race to be held at night during the 2021-22 race season, the group tells NL Times.

"The race has been planned for a year and a half," said Berry van Nes, the owner of content marketing firm gr8 agency, and one of the founders of the racing initiative. He says he is enthusiastic about the project and confident the fast-growing sports event will descend upon the City of Light. “We can’t give a percentage but, we can say that we think it is very likely to happen.”

The race would take place through the streets of Eindhoven, much like other famous street circuits including the Monaco Grand Prix held during the Formula 1 season. Eindhoven was chosen over other areas in the Netherlands, due to its superiority in technology and design, van Nes says. “This fits perfectly into what Formula E are trying to do.”

The idea has won support from many officials necessary to bring the plan to fruition. Formula Eindhoven chair Peter-Paul Laumans tells NL Times, "The Noord-Brabant municipalities of Helmond and Eindhoven are all in favour and are very enthusiastic about the idea."

Aside from a boost in reputation that comes with being included in a high profile race series followed by millions globally, the entrepreneurs see the prospect of an economic windfall for their hometown. “A huge financial benefit would come from the purchasing and the customers that an event like this would attract, but it would also help put Eindhoven on the map on a world stage,” van Nes says.

In the current sixth season of Formula E, launched in 2014, the cars use a 200-kilowatt motor, equivalent to about 268 horsepower, and drivers can use a 12.5 percent power boost at key moments in a race. The cars are further unleashed during qualifiers, with the power output increased to 250 kilowatts, or 335 horsepower.

It means the driver can blast from a standstill to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds on the way to a top speed of 280 km/h.

While fast, the powerful electric motors have a power output as much as 75 percent less than a F1 car. Formula 1 vehicles can reach 100 km/h a half-second faster, and the top recorded speed in 2019 was an astonishing 346.3 kilometers per hour.

Still, the current Formula E car are quicker off the line, more powerful, and feature a top speed that is 55 km/h faster than the previous generation. The second generation model has been in use since the start of the 2018-19 season.