Those of us who are fans of electric motorcycle racing are probably jealous of all the attention the Formula E electric car racing series is getting. In any case, the latest bit of news is that Boston Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck and a dozen of his co-owners in the NBA franchise have invested $21 million into Formula E.
That’s a LOT of money, and is just one investment in the Formula E series. When they made the big whoopdedoo about Leonardo DiCaprio joining one of the Formula E teams, that surely came along with another investment, yes?
“We aim to help make Formula E a worldwide sensation,” Grousbeck told The Associated Press this week shortly before the deal closed. “With our upcoming races in the centers of Los Angeles and Miami, we will help showcase the power and promise of sustainable vehicle technology.”
“We know the power of competition and entertainment, and will bring our knowledge to the development of the market for electric vehicles,” Grousbeck said. “Causeway’s mission is to find investment opportunities that benefit from our deep network of NBA and NFL team owners, media executives and professional investors. Formula E is a perfect match.”
Formula E chief executive officer Alejandro Agag said the investment by American sports team owners is “a game-changer.”
“The U.S. is one of the main markets for Formula E,” said Agag, adding that there will be two American teams and two American races in the first season. “To have a partner that knows deeply the U.S. sports market places us in a unique position to develop our championship in the Americas.”
In other Formula E news, they held a big party in Putrajaya Malaysia to officially “launch” the Formula E race there.
More than 150 invited guests including media, corporate and government sectors were on hand to attend the launch which also saw the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car on display – only the second time the fully-electric race car has been shown in Asia. Guests, which also included the Chairman of the Automobile Association of Malaysia YM Tunku Datuk Mudzaffa Bin Tunku Mustapha, were also treated to a sneak preview of the proposed Putrajaya circuit layout which incorporates many of the city’s main landmarks.
The Malaysian Prime Minister said: “I am delighted to be here today for the official launch of the 2014 FIA Formula E race in Putrajaya and to witness the unveiling of this remarkable car. I believe this event will be a very significant event, not only from the perspective of this race exclusively for electric cars, but for Malaysia it is a testimony of your confidence in us hosting this momentous event. Electric cars are the cars of the future and represent the next generation of vehicles for the global community.”
Alejandro Agag, speaking about the decision to hold the race in Malaysia, said: “Malaysia is a great tourism destination and one of the major players in the world of eco-tourism. And given Malaysia’s foray into car manufacturing, and experience in the logistics of motor sports, the country is indeed an ideal choice. Of course we are delighted to have the full commitment of the Government of Malaysia and the local authorities for their support and for welcoming us here today.”
With this kind of monetary infusion, what could happen to electric motorcycle racing? eh? Okay, I’m feeling jealous of Formula E when I should perhaps be celebrating their success, eh?
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