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Formula E to demo car in Las Vegas

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LONDON (Jan. 3, 2014) — Organizers of the FIA Formula E Championship will hold a public demonstration of the electric-powered Spark-Renault SRT 01E Formula E car in Las Vegas on Monday, on Jan. 6.

Formula E Holdings also disclosed recently that tire supplier Michelin Motorsports has developed an all-weather treaded race tire for the series, designed to provide optimum performance in both wet and dry conditions, thus helping to reduce overall costs and promote sustainability.

The tires will be low-profile 18-inch versions, a first for an open-wheel series, the organizers announced.

Each two-car team will have just three sets of tires per race weekend, Michelin said, to cover free practice, qualifying and the race. This equates to a set and a half per car, eliminating excess use and the need for teams to invest in pit-lane tire-changing equipment.

Formula E Holdings Ltd. photo Michelin will supply the Formula E teams with treaded 18-inch low-profile tires.

"We designed the tires to be both energy efficient and more like road tires," said Pascal Couasnon, director of Michelin Motorsport. "As a consequence, the new FIA Formula E Championship will serve as a life-size laboratory that will help Michelin to prepare its tires of the future."

Nicolas Goubert, Michelin Motorsport's technical director, added: "The FIA Formula E Championship will use street circuits in city centres, so our aim was to design tires with tread patterns. The closer we are to the realities of everyday motoring, the more relevant and also speedier the carryover of technology from the race track to road tires becomes."

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoters Formula E Holdings, added: "The decision to use all-weather tyres is in line with the whole philosophy of the championship. Less rubber equals less consumption. Michelin was very clear that was the line they wanted to take, and that was the same line we wanted to take, so it was all very easy."

The Formula E car is capable of speeds in excess on 150 mph and has been designed and built by Spark Racing Technologies, together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain & electronics), Renault (system integration) and Michelin (tires).

Formula E Holdings Ltd. photo Michelin's Formula E tires are designed to provide traction in both dry and wet conditions.

The U.S. unveiling of the car will also be held in conjunction with the International CES — a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow that takes place every January in Las Vegas.

The 2014-15 Formula E Championship begins WHEN? WHERE? . .. Ten teams, including two from the U.S., will contest the inaugural XX-race series. The U.S. teams are Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, both current IndyCar Series teams.

The other teams are from China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Monaco and two from the United Kingdom.

In addition, award-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio will be involved with the Monaco team, Venturi Automobiles.

The inaugural 10-race Formula E season kicks off Sept. 13 in Beijing, China, and runs through June 27, 2015, in London. The season will have two rounds in the U.S., on Feb. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles, and March 14, 2015, in Miami.

Other venues are: Putrajaya, Malaysia, Oct. 14; Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 15; Punta del Este, Uruguay, Dec. 13; Buenos Aires, Jan. 10, 2015; Monte Carlo, Monaco, May 9, 2015; and Berlin, May 30, 2015.

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