The FIA Formula E Championship has revealed that its second event in the United States of America will take place on the hallowed streets of Long Beach, rather than inner city Los Angeles as originally slated.

The world's first fully-electric racing series confirmed that the race, round seven of its inaugural season, will take place on 4 April 2015 - the slot originally earmarked for LA - and join Miami as the two US-based stops on a ten-race calendar that takes in city-centre circuits around the globe in 2014-15.

Organisers also confirmed that the Long Beach race - christened as the 'Long Beach ePrix' - will be one of two that forms part of the championship's 'Legacy Programme', giving free access to fans with a focus on attracting school and university students from the nearby area in a bid to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans and promote the electric vehicle industry.

"Long Beach is proud to be among the elite group of international cities hosting the FIA Formula E Championship," local mayor Bob Foster, a long-time electric vehicle owner and recognised expert on energy issues, commented, "The Long Beach ePrix will bring a new generation of race fans to the iconic streets of Long Beach."

The Long Beach street circuit is the longest currently running in the US, having been inaugurated as an F1 venue in 1975. With CART taking over from 1984, the city has since staged races for both Champ Car and IndyCar, as well as adding sportscar events under the ALMS and TUSC banners. Formula E, however, will use a modified configuration to the regular IndyCar circuit.

At 1.6 miles (2.1km) in length, it features seven turns, with the cars leaving from the same iconic start/finish line adjacent to the marina before heading off in a clockwise direction past the Rainbow Lagoon. They will then turn right onto South Pine Avenue before rejoining with the more familiar track configuration. The cars will then pass around the grounds of the Convention Centre before a final right-hand hairpin brings them back across the start/finish line.

"Long Beach is an iconic track," Gil de Ferran, former IndyCar legend and Formula E ambassador, reflected, "It is the most famous street circuit in North America and is a little bit of a tradition in American motorsport. It says a lot for Formula E that it is racing at such a venue."

Championship promoter Formula E Holdings confirmed that Long Beach had been selected due to its commitment to sustainable mobility and the long-running success it has enjoyed hosting large scale sporting events and high-visibility special events. With California the number one market for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales - with around 12 per cent of national sales occurring in the South California area alone - the state was always on the series' radar, with Los Angeles among the first cities pencilled in.

"We are very thankful to mayor Bob Foster and all the city authorities for their warm reception, and for welcoming the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship to Long Beach as hosts of round seven," series CEO Alejandro Agag said, "They all share our passion for not only motorsport, but for promoting sustainable mobility, and I have every confidence that the people of Long Beach and Southern California are going to experience a revolutionary, and of course very exciting, new racing event come April 2015."

 

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