We’ve become accustomed by now to watching races broadcast from the Middle East. World-class racing series like F1 and MotoGP regularly hold events in Gulf emirates like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Bahrain. But the latest announcement is a little different.
The organizers of the FIA Formula E Championship have announced that, starting next season, the electric racing series will compete on the streets of Riyadh. The first event is set to kick off the start of next season, when an entirely new generation of single-seat EVs will race through the Ad Diriyah district in the Saudi Arabian capital. But it won’t be a flash in the pan, as the initial deal has been penned for a full ten years.
The announcement follows just a few months after the Race of Champions was held in the same city’s King Fahd International Stadium. That marked the first international-level motorsport competition in the oil-rich country, which is evidently shifting its focus towards the future of motorized transportation.
Pending approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, the Riyadh ePrix will be organized by Lebasese-Canadian promoter Carlo Boutagy, best known for orchestrating F1 FanZone events that shows grands prix in public venues around the world.
“Bringing racing to Riyadh for the first round of the new season is the perfect setting for the next phase of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship,” said series chief Alejandro Agag. “An exciting and vibrant country that is focussing on its future, Saudi Arabia will be the ideal venue to mark the competitive debut of the next generation Formula E cars.”