Festive start to the Formula E HKT Hong Kong ePrix

The first ever HKT FIA Formula E Hong Kong ePrix roared into town today with action on and off the track as crowds turned out to enjoy the city’s first major international motorsport event in over 30 years.

Fans enjoyed an early opportunity to get close to the drivers with public photo sessions featuring the 20 drivers along the waterfront and autograph sessions in one of the three eVillages.

On the track, spectators got a chance to watch the world’s fastest electric production car, the Detroit Electric SP:01, in action, driven by Hong Kong racing star Darryl O’Young. After a few tantalizing warm-up laps, O’Young opened up the power and showed why the limited edition, two-seat SP:01 is turning heads around the world as he took up the challenge to set a best lap time.

Racegoers then had their first sight of the Formula E drivers in action as the cars took to the Hong Kong ePrix track for the ‘Shakedown’, when the teams get to put their wheels on the tarmac for some non-competitive circuits that allow the drivers and teams to familiarize themselves with the course and fine-tune the vehicles.

In the afternoon, some 40 deluxe car marques, including Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti and McLaren, toured the circuit in a charity parade presented by Kam Lung Motor Group with the GT3-R, Bentley’s limited edition SUV Bentayga taking the lead role. 

The first competitive action on the ePrix tracks marked another global first, an electric touring car race presented by Hong Kong-based Formula Racing Development Limited (FRD).

Sixteen local celebrities and veteran Hong Kong motorsport drivers took the wheels of identical, race-modified Volkswagen eGolfs. They pressed hard from the start with a collision at the first turn and more bumps and scrapes as the drivers gave it their all.

The overall winner in the professional category was Andrew Lo, ahead of fellow professionals Paul Poon and Hong Kong’s top female driver Denise Yeung. Among the celebrity drivers taking part, marshal artist Chin Ka Lok took the honours, beating out actor Alex Fong and canto-pop legend Aaron Kwok.

The exciting race will be re-broadcast in its entirety tonight (8 Oct.) at 11.00pm and again on Sunday morning at 10.30am on ViuTV as well as being available via video on demand from midnight on Saturday (8 Oct).

The three eVillages attracted families and motorsport fans who enjoyed a range of entertainment and booths from Formula E teams, sponsors and partners, including HKT, on the theme of ‘Drive the Future’.  Many visitors took a test drive around the Hong Kong ePrix circuit on simulators in the eSports Arena where earlier in the afternoon several of the Formula E stars took on the champion of Swire’s HKT Hong Kong ePrix Roadshow competition, 12-year-old Hongkonger Kobe.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s race, Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua of new outfit Techeetah described how happy he was to race here: “It’s a home race for me and a fantastic location for Formula E. It will be a very special race for me and I will do my best to compete well.”

Last season’s runner-up, Lucas De Grassi of Team ABT Schaeffler Audi, concurred: “We couldn’t be in a better place, I’m very excited. Formula E chose the best place to start the new season. We have a lot of good drivers and teams and it should be an exciting race.”

Kenneth Ma Hon-wah, Founder of FRD, was delighted by the launch of Formula E in Hong Kong, saying, “To see a motor racing event of this scale right here on our doorstep is an extremely proud moment… What we see in front of us is a true reflection that the sport of motor racing does have a place in Hong Kong. The buzz and anticipation for this weekend has been phenomenal and I think we will see the Hong Kong Formula E weekend fast becoming one of the biggest annual sporting spectacles in Asia.

The opening day’s attractions drew over 9,000 fans and attention now turns to Sunday’s main event, the FIA Formula E HKT Hong Kong ePrix, which starts with two practice rounds in the morning before four qualifying groups in the early afternoon, before the main race at 4pm.


Source: Formula Electric Racing (Hong Kong) Limited by ESA

Check back here regularly for more HK Automotive News & Reviews!

Like our Facebook page to stay updated on all things automotive in Hong Kong!

Follow our Instagram @hkcartrader for the No.1 Carspotting feed in Hong Kong!