Electric racing is set to grow into another format as Hong Kong prepares to host the world’s first electric touring car race.
The event is set to take place as a support race for the Hong Kong ePrix that’s set to kick off the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship on October 8-9. But instead of single-seaters, this race will take place between touring cars – similar to what you might see in DTM or the World Touring Car Championship, but with batteries and electric motors instead of internal-combustion engines.
Instead of opening it up for Teslas to rub wheels with Nissan Leafs, the race will be contested by a field of identically prepared Volkswagen e-Golfs. The organizers at Formula Racing Development are outfitting the electric VWs with such equipment as roll cages, racing seats with six-point harnesses and on-board fire extinguishers, while upgrading the aerodynamics, suspension, brakes and wheels for the purpose.
The combined electric racing spectacle of Formula E and the touring cars will mark the first time that an automobile race will take place in Hong Kong in over 30 years. If it proves successful, we could not only see the e-Golfs racing elsewhere, but more races held in the Chinese city-state in the future.