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320km/h Grand Prix electric car racing on cards for Hong Kong

Grand Prix motor racing could be coming to Hong Kong – but not as we know it.

A Hong Kong-based consortium, Formula E Holdings, is planning to bring Formula E, high-speed electric-car racing, to the city’s streets next year as part of a global circuit of 10 cities including Rome, London and Rio de Janeiro. The plans have been sanctioned by motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.

Officials from Formula E are already staking out possible 2.5 kilometre circuits before going to the government with a proposal. They believe that they will get a good reception, as along with the excitement of the race comes the cutting-edge environmental technology that goes into the racing supercars, which accelerate from 0 to 100kph in three seconds, have a top speed of 320kph and do it all without making a sound.

Spanish businessman Alejandro Agag, a former chairman of the English Premier League team Queens Park Rangers when the club was part-owned by the Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, is the chief executive of Formula E. He regards Hong Kong as an ideal venue.

“We’re very, very keen to have a race in Hong Kong, and we are trying our best to find a suitable area either on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon to stage it. The race could take place in the city itself or on Kowloon with the city skyline as a backdrop,” Agag said.

Formula E also hopes a city in mainland China can join the circuit. So far, Rome, London and Rio de Janeiro have been officially named as venues. All 10 cities staging a race are expected to be named in two to three months’ time.

Agag believes Hong Kong is a perfect fit because the series aims to help change people’s mentality about electric cars, to improve the environment.

“Tackling the pollution problem is also a big objective for the Hong Kong government, so we’ll have a mutually beneficial partnership. That’s why the other cities want to be involved too,” he said.

The president of the Hong Kong Automobile Association, Lawrence Yu, said he had spoken to Agag and he was certain they would find an appropriate circuit to race on soon.

“Kowloon East may be the best location as Hong Kong Island will form the background and there’s not that much traffic in the area,” Yu said. “We’re very positive that this can take place. There are still some hurdles we have to get over but it’s looking good.”
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