Plug in: GL Events toasts to Formula E

Formula E’s first season races into its London finale, giving the capital a case of electric fever.

For all the adrenaline-pumping excitement of Formula 1 racing, it has to be said that all those cars zooming around tracks across the globe isn’t exactly great for the environment.

FIA bosses have smartly mitigated their vehicular money tree with a brand new series, Formula E. This greener series uses all-electric cars that top out at just 160mph (compared to F1’s 233mph), run on treaded tyres instead of racing slicks, and weigh about 350 pounds more than an F1 car.

So while it may be a more earth-friendly event, can Formula E replicate the rush and passion of its older brother?

If you trust the old Top Gear boys – which has admittedly become harder since they decamped to Netflix – then, yes, it can.

“The Formula E car is immediately amazingly easy to drive,” they posted on TopGear.com last year. “Just push the accelerator and hang on. Motor racing is about entertainment – we’re officially excited.”

And with 30,000 attendees to the Visa London ePrix – the season’s finale, which was held on 27-28 June – it seems audiences agree. Celebrities flocked to the event, with Naomi Campbell, Sarah Ferguson, Will.I.Am, Richard Branson, Antonio Banderas, Jodie Kidd, Stacey Solomon and Natalie Imbruglia all visiting the high-end hospitality over the two-day event.

Access, who attended with GL events, was kept busy sipping Champagne and star-spotting the whole day as we cheered Nelson Piquet, Jr to victory.

In keeping with Formula E’s global racetracks set in the heart of its hosts’ cities, the London event took place at Battersea Park. The Visa London ePrix finale encompassed two races – Rounds 10 and 11 – where 20 electric cars took to the park on the 2.9km anti-clockwise circuit using the existing perimeter roads. 

“I think the London ePrix definitely has a great future,” said Formula E’s CEO Alejandro Agag. “Even in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have come up with an ending like that. We’ve seen great quality and great racing and we made it to the end of the season, so we are extremely satisfied with the outcome.”

GL events, which has followed the inaugural season from Beijing to Miami to Moscow, through to its London conclusion, provided all the infrastructure for each of the race events. 

Because each circuit and location is different, each ePrix required a bespoke infrastructure to support the race. GL events worked closely with Formula E Holdings to provide a solution to adapt to the requirements of each individual city, including all design and build, and internal fit out. 

The team was on site from 15 June preparing for the event, and broke down in just five days in preparation for the next events taking place at
the park.

GL events provided infrastructure around the track for the eVillage, pit garages, race control, media and TV compound, catering and medical facilities, and a state-of-the-art double deck structure for The E-motion Club, the highest tier of Formula E’s hospitality. 

“The two-day event in London was a fantastic end to the season,” says GL event’s managing director Scott Hayward. “Hosting the championship final shows confidence in our capital city and our ability to stage the biggest and the best global sporting events.

“It’s been an amazing year and I’m proud to have been such an integral part of a new era of motorsport.”