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Faraday Future Long Beach ePrix Trophy.  Image Credit: 2016 Brandon O'Brien / MotorDriven Images

By: Brandon J. O’Brien Images by: Brandon O’Brien / Motor Driven Images unless otherwise specified

The streets of Long Beach were once again roaring, wrong term, buzzing with the sound of the Faraday Future Long Beach ePrix cars for the second year. If you have not been to a Formula E event, try it next year.

There are a few things that make this event different from the other motor racing events you go to; first is the lack of engine noise.  I know, one of the reasons to go to a motor sport event is to hear and feel the power of these beasts.  Well, to be honest, the racing is just as good without the noise.  You can hear the announcer and EJ, yes, there is an EJ with music. This is one event where my wife would join me and go home not complaining about her hearing. 


Eventual Race Winner Lucas di Grassi during morning practice exiting Turn 6.  Image Credit: 2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor driven Images
Another reason is that the general population has not discovered this event, yet!  Unlike the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach which takes to the streets in two-weeks you can move around with ease.  Finally this is a one-day event held on Saturday.  Because this worldwide series takes place within the actual confines of major cities the City Managers specify a short disruption to the typical traffic patterns.
2nd Place car driven by Stephane Sarrazin exiting Turn 3.  Photo Credit:  2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor Driven Images
Each team must use 2 cars each race.  This is due to the fact that the current batteries do not hold enough energy to allow the cars to be driven for more than 25 minutes at competitive race speeds. 
Sam Bird exiting Turn 3 in the DS Virgin Racing machine.  Image Credit: 2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor Driven Images 
During the pit stop midway in the race the drivers come into the pits, stop in their garage, or for Long Beach, their pit box, unbuckle the safety belts and leave the car.  They then sprint across the pit box and jump into the second car.  When they have been safely strapped in they may leave.  A minimum pit stop time is mandated at each race to ensure that the teams have sufficient time to correctly and safely strap in their driver.
Above sequence shows race winner Lucas di Grassi changing cars midway through the race.  Photo Credits: 2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor Driven Images
Even though this is the only stop for the series in the United States two of the teams have solid American leadership, Andretti and Penske, and the names of some drivers will sound familiar to many either from Formula 1 or Indy Car. Nico Prost, Nelson Piquet Jr, and Bruno Senna all had World Champion fathers, Nick Heidfeld drove in Formula 1, and Mike Conway and Simona De Silvestro have history at Long Beach with Indy Car.  This would be the first Formula E race where a female driver, De Silvestro, scored points.
Simona De Silvestro who is driving for Andretti Formula E was able to be the first woman to earn points in a Formula E race.  Photo Credit:  2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor Driven Images
Last years' Long Beach ePrix winner and reigning Formula E Champion Nelson Piquet Jr. in the cockpit of his car prior to the start of the race.  Photo Credit: 2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor Driven Images
The race being only 50 minutes is truly a sprint from start to finish.  Lucas di Grassi driving for Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport took the podium followed 0.787 seconds by Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin. The podium was filled out by di Grassi’s teammate Daniel Abt.  Di Grassi’s win put him into second place overall and the team into second place.
Lucas di Grassi in the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport crossing the Finish Line in 1st Place.
Image Credit:  2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor Driven Images
Post race press conference with (L) Stephane Sarrizin, 2nd Place; (M) Lucas di Grassi, 1st Place; and (R) Daniel Abt, 3rd Place.  Image Credit:  2016 Brandon O'Brien / Motor Driven Images
Between the end of April and beginning of July the final five races will all be held in Paris, Berlin, Moscow, and London (double-header).



TAGS: Motor Driven Images, Brandon O’Brien, Faraday Future Long Beach ePrix, Faraday, Long Beach, Formula E, Formula E Long Beach


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