A fully-charged racing weekend

In a city considered by many to be the least motorist friendly place on the planet, one would not expect to watch an international auto race with 11 world-class teams and 22 top-level drivers from around the globe. But thousands of race fans visited the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn on July 13–14 to witness the last two races of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s 2018/2019 season, where the series champion would be crowned.

On day 1, Sebastian Buemi of Switzerland ended a two-year dry spell with his winning drive for the Nissan e.dams team. Dutch driver Robin Reijns triumphed on day 2, driving for Envision Virgin Racing. And after 13 races in 12 cities across five continents, French driver Jean-Eric Vergne of DS Techeetah captured the series championship. Vergne is the first driver in the series to win back-to-back Formula E championships.

But these Big Apple races were more than just crossing the finish line. Winding around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal were 14 very tight corners and high-speed straightaways within view of the magnificent Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Observing the activity as crews prepared the electric-powered cars in the pit garage prior to the race was fascinating. Just as impressive was seeing the teams coordinate their efforts while the cars were being prepped for the race. As the vehicles left the garage, the silence of the engines was deafening, even at high speeds. It was truly remarkable to watch these cars quietly blast past our seats at roughly 174 mph. Zero emissions, quiet engines and zero fossil fuel consumption—this is the future of auto racing.

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