Diriyah E Prix promises ‘elect’rifying action


Formula E in Saudi Arabia Image: FIA Formula E

Sported as friendly on the planet, fierce on the track, Formula E’s maiden all-electric night race as part of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship 2020-21 calendars will be hosted at Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on February 26th and 27th, 2021.

A staunch advocate of innovative, sustainable solutions, Formula E will light the track with low consumption LED technology powered by fully renewable energy and will warm the cockles of the hearts of all Green activists the world over.

Formula E or ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is a single-seated motorsport championship that uses only electric cars. The series is promoted and owned by London-headquartered Formula E Holdings.

Formula E confirmed in a statement recently that the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will literally light up the streets of Diriyah as it returns to the historic desert surroundings of the UNESCO World Heritage site for the third year in a row.

Diriyah, a town with a maze of alleyways is located to the North-West of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Alberto Longo, Co-Founder and Chief Championship Officer of Formula E, stated, “We are very proud to partner with Saudi to create Formula E’s first ever night race. I am confident the race will be spectacular and lead to a style of competitive action we haven’t seen before. As with everything we do, our first thought was about how to bring our sporting vision to life in a sustainable way. Before we innovate our racing product, we must be confident we can maintain the standards of sustainable practice we hold ourselves accountable to.”

His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, the Minister of Sport, added, “In 2018, the ancient historical City of Diriyah made history in hosting the first fully-electric race on the streets of the region. The debut event sparked so much joy and energy to our sporting journey and was one of a number of major sporting firsts that have since inspired our people and helped to shine a spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s massive transformation under the Kingdom’s vision 2030.”

The Minister continued, “In 2019, Diriyah was the first to host back to back races during a race weekend and now once again we will make sporting history. It is very fitting that a place so ancient will showcase the latest in sustainable technology as Diriyah lights up to shine bright for the world to see. We look forward to the dramatic racing and incredible scenes that are guaranteed to unfold under the lights.”

The racing extravaganza will be sans the vroom of a fuel engine and the fumes with the primary objective of reducing carbon footprints. Formula E’s commitment to deliver better futures through racing drives its ongoing environmental, economic and social sustainability initiatives around the world. Saudi Arabia is the perfect partner on this mission, as it embraces its own sustainability journey towards a modern, inclusive Saudi Arabia as part of Vision 2030.

Apart from the latest low consumption LED technology which will be employed to light up the tracks, it will also help to reduce energy consumption by up to 50 percent compared to non-LED technologies. High-performing low-carbon certified hydrogenated vegetable oil made from sustainable materials and fully renewable will power the floodlighting.

His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman, Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, observed, “The inaugural Diriyah E-Prix was the Kingdom’s first major international event, last year it became the Middle East’s first double-header and in February, it will be the first ever night race for the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, we’re really proud of this. Saudi Arabia is on a journey of embracing renewable energy and technology, and Formula E is more than just a race to be the best, it’s a partnership committed to the future of sustainable technology.”

The double header in the dark, propelled by electricity, lit by LED promises to be a spectacular vision for fans, and will remind them that even the most intense and unpredictable racing can take place without the environment paying the price. It will be the first sport to have net zero carbon since inception.

Carlo Boutagy, CEO of CBX the Official Promoter, remarked, “With the circular economy being a key pillar of Vision 2030, we are thrilled to be quite literally shining a light on sustainability through hosting Formula E’s first ever night race. As a Promoter, the fan experience is at the forefront of our event and we always aim to raise the bar year on year, and we have no doubt that the Diriyah E Prix will be a spectacle unlike any other.”

The Diriyah E Prix will follow the debut of the 2020-21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Santiago, Chile (a country in South America), with two races each to be staged on January 16th and 17th, 2021.

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