From July 10-11 New York City’s ‘ePrix’ returns to Brooklyn for two days of close-combat, wheel-to-wheel car racing powered by pure electricity. Well Red gets behind the wheel with Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns to hear why he thinks New York is the most electrifying city in the world to race in.
We’ve heard Formula E often described as the future of car racing?
Now in its seventh season, Formula E is not only the world’s fastest-growing motorsport, but it’s a battle for the future of driving! By racing in different cities around the world and in a mix of environments, we can stress test how to take the latest e-racing tech and use it to help develop road cars. Bringing Formula E’s electric cars to city centres really helps raise the profile of green motoring. The past few years have seen some of the biggest brands join Formula E, keen to develop their research and pave the way for the road cars of tomorrow.
Does that mean there’s no engine noise?
Sort of! Formula E is quieter to watch than traditional racing so you won’t need to bring your earplugs to the racetrack. There is some noise – around 70 decibels – but nothing that will hurt your eardrums!
The cars look very futuristic and Batmobile-esque! What’s it like driving an electric race car?
The technique to drive a Formula E car is to finely balance the amount of power with the set distance – basically the aim is to drive faster than everyone else, while consuming the least amount of energy. The Gen2 model now stores double the energy of the previous Gen1, so drivers can now complete an entire race in this new car, and there’s no need for mid-race car swaps like before. With just one car per driver and greater speeds, viewers are guaranteed tons more exciting track action.
How long have you been racing?
This is my third season with Envision Virgin Racing, and first season alongside my new teammate Nick Cassidy.
Why is racing in NYC so special?
NYC and the Brooklyn track remain firm favourites of the team. It’s an incredible experience to race on NY’s public streets and the city never fails to deliver a great weekend of racing. 2019 was an especially memorable event (2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic) that saw the race close-out with an exciting double-header. Sharing the top step of the podium with Sebastien Buemi from Nissan was definitely a huge highlight for me.
Thanks Robin! We’ll all be rooting for Envision Virgin Racing to take the top step on the NY podium again next month!
Return to Red Hook
What could be more action-packed than watching two dozen cars and drivers rip round the raw streets of Brooklyn in the shadow of Manhattan’s majestic skyline? The Brooklyn Street Circuit is a temporary race track that twists and turns its way around the Cruise Terminal site and fascinating Red Hook neighbourhood. With racetrack views across the Buttermilk Channel to Governor’s Island and the iconic Statue of Liberty on the horizon, watching Formula E in this unique setting makes for an exhilarating experience.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has partnered with IHG Hotels & Resorts to give our members exclusive opportunities to earn Virgin Points while you’re in town.
Hotel Indigo Brooklyn
This chic hotel in the heart of downtown Brooklyn boasts eclectic interiors, a local art collection and is just moments from Brooklyn Bridge. The Indigo team is passionate about ensuring their guests have a great stay in Brooklyn; enjoy plush bedding, spa-style bathrooms and fast Wi-Fi. Accessed directly from the lobby is the excellent Brewhouse, serving up an extensive choice of beers and freshly prepared local dishes.
Holiday Inn Express New York-Brooklyn
The Holiday Inn Brooklyn is walking distance from the race track and is a great hotel choice in this neighborhood. The famous Dinosaur’s BBQ is directly across the street and just a block away is famous Fifth Ave, with its enormous selection of restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Rooms have black-out curtains and a pillow menu, so good quality sleep is guaranteed. Wake refreshed and kick-start your morning with the Express Start Breakfast to ensure you keep pace with NYC’s irrepressible energy.
DON’T MISS OUT:
Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
Zest up your day with a key lime pie from Steve’s. Situated next to the fantastic Red Hook Winery, for the past 23 years this iconic establishment has brought the best key lime pie to NYC. Steve’s always uses the choicest squeezed limes and freshest dairy products, plus with a delicious pure butter and crumb crust, this is one NY treat you can’t miss out on.
The Good Fork
Brooklyn fav, the Good Fork Restaurant and bar has been serving up eclectic seasonal New American food in a warm and cozy setting for over fourteen years.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Centre at BLDG 92
Step back in time with a guided tour at the Navy Yard Centre, one of NYC’s unique historical areas. Learn about American history from the Revolutionary War to the Yard’s role in New York’s modern industries and sustainable urban growth.
Brooklyn Flea Market, Williamsburg
Brooklyn Flea Market has grown into one of NYC’s top attractions, holding markets every weekend of the year and featuring hundreds of furniture, vintage clothing and antique vendors, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewellery, art and crafts by local artisans and designers. It’s also a great place to sample delicious fresh food. Travel + Leisure, Country Living, Budget Travel, and Fodor’s have ranked the flea market as one of the best markets in the US and the world and Time Out NY named the Flea one of New York’s best pick-up spots!
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