NASCAR fans in New Hampshire are lamenting the fact that NH International Speedway has dropped one of two races that it hosts each year – as the Monitor’s Ray Duckler noted in an article about last weekend’s race at Loudon, titled “Sound business decision rings very hollow.”
But last weekend saw a different race, this one in New York City, that should excite New Hampshire, a place full of gear-heads and techies: the FIA Formula E electric-car racing series. GreenCar Reporters, which, as you might expect, really likes electric-car racing, had a good “10 things to know” primer for newbies (read it here), including:
The races aren’t silent: spectators hear lots of motor and electronics whine, there’s tire noise you can’t hear in regular racing, and the clattering as the cars go over the rattle strips on the insides of chicanes is remarkably obvious.
Each driver has on his steering wheel 10 buttons, six paddles, several rotary knobs, and a display screen he can scroll through, in addition to headsets in which the team tells him how to adjust the car’s speed, regeneration, and other settings.
Formula 1 racing isn’t NASCAR – the vehicles are different (open wheel and cockpit as compared to modified normal cars) and Formula 1 takes place on city streets rather than an oval. But we don’t have to be tied to old conventions; after all, the Speedway already hosts the collegiate Formula Hybrid contest in half-size formula cars, including some that are all-electric. Pushing it to the level of real-world racing shouldn’t be too hard.