There were cars, girls and even stars at the track in Long Beach, CA last weekend for the inaugural Formula E race. But one thing was noticeably absent – the roar of engines.
And it’s not for the lack of muscle. The single-seat, open wheeled chariots were set to reach maximum speeds of 140 mph (225 kph). They had so much power that many cars in the 20-car grid were piloted by Formula 1 drivers such as Sebastien Buemi, Nick Heidfield, Nelson Piquet Jr., Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna, and Scott Speed.
In fact, they sped past 100mph (160 kph) with nary a peep for 39 laps on Long Beach Grand Prix’s race course. Like regular races, there were also some crashes though nobody got injured. Just the same, it doesn’t hurt either that the race was sanctioned by the governing body of Formula 1 racing, the FIA.
The difference between these ninja machines is that unlike regular F1 cars, these cars all ran using electric drive trains. Hence they packed a wallop in horsepower without the deafening sound of an engine rev.
But if the sounds of engine screams were absent, the sound of money wasn’t. The race was backed up by big bucks in the form of Michael Andretti, Sir Richard Branson and Leonardo di Caprio.
The Titanic star didn’t see his money sink, as the event was a roaring success.