Formula E could be heading to Middle East next
Why Not Israel?
Several top-level, FIA-sanctioned racing series have competed in the region. The World Endurance Championship races in Bahrain. The GT1 World Championship competed in Abu Dhabi. The World Touring Car Championship raced in Turkey. And Formula One has held grands prix at all three. The World Rally Championship competed in Jordan. Several series (including A1GP and the FIA GT Championship) have raced in Dubai, and MotoGP competes in Qatar.
It wouldn't be hard, then, to imagine Formula E following suit. But this writer proposes another idea: Israel. The Mediterranean enclave is a bastion of technological development and green initiatives that would be keen to get on board with Formula E. The country has bread several up-and-coming racing drivers, including Chanoch Nissany, his son Roy Nissany, and Alon Day. And though the Knesset national legislature has broadened regulations to allow for motor racing, no major series has held a race there to date.
Jerusalem held Formula One road-show exhibitions (like the one pictured above) for two years running. Spearheaded by Ferrari and the city's mayor – himself a tech entrepreneur and consummate racing fan – the events brought in top-level racing teams who drew crowds of spectators from the ancient city's diverse populace. They ran on closed-off city streets similar to the setup used for an ePrix, potentially laying the groundwork for an actual race.
Of course given all the funds available from OPEC countries – and the presence of major oil concerns keen to promote a greener image – we'll more likely see the electric racing series add an event closer to the Persian Gulf than the Mediterranean. One way or another, we'll likely find out when the series organizers release the final calendar for season three to take place in 2016-17. But if any racing series is going to do things a little differently, surely it's Formula E.
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