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FIA chief Jean Todt confirms Moscow as venue for Formula E race

February 03, 2015, 14:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series
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© EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. One of the races of the inaugural Formula E championship will be held near the Kremlin walls in downtown of the Russian capital this June, Jean Todt, the president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said on Tuesday.

Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series. The very first out of the total of 10 races of the inaugural 2014/2015 season was held on September 13, 2014 in China’s Beijing and the Moscow ePrix has been now scheduled to kick off on June 6, three weeks ahead of the season’s closing race in London on June 27.

"Russia’s presence in motorsport dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, but the growth rate which we’ve seen in the last few years is incredible," Formula E official website quoted Todt as saying at a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday morning.

"After the debut of WTCC two years ago and of Formula One last year, the launch of another FIA Championship in the country is an important milestone in this growth path," Todt continued. "Formula E represents a new form of racing and entertainment as it’s aimed to attract and engage not only motorsport fans but also a new audience and in particular the younger generations."

"It fits perfectly in the FIA’s traditional role as a leading promoter of innovation, technology and performance in the automotive sector. I am sure that Moscow will enjoy the event," Todt added.

A total of 10 teams are currently participating in the Formula E championship with two drivers racing for each team. The list of pilots of the new racing event include the names of such developed racers as Jerome D'Ambrosio, Jarno Trulli, Sebastien Buemi, Nick Heidfeld, Bruno Senna, Nelson Piquet, Jean-Eric Vergne and many others.

The inaugural Formula E season already saw four spectacular races, namely in China’s Beijing, Malaysia’s Putrajaya, Uruguay’s Punta del Este and Argentina’s Buenos Aires, with different pilots winning each of the race. The remaining races are scheduled to be held in Miami (March 14), Long Beach (April 4), Monaco (May 9), Berlin (May 23), Moscow (June 6) and London (June 27).

Addressing the same news conference in Moscow on Tuesday morning Executive Director of the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) Sergey Ivanov said that the Moscow ePrix on the 13-turn and 3.2 km distance circuit in the heart of the Russian capital would be a historic event.

"It is a historic event for Russian motorsport — for the first time ever, a real race will take place in the very heart of the city," Ivanov said. "We’ve been cooperating with FIA for a long time and we are certain that the FIA Formula E Championship round in Moscow will be held in accordance with all the international standards."

Popularity of auto racing in Russia skyrocketed last year as the country held its inaugural Formula One Grand Prix in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Over 166,000 people, including at least 500 high-ranking guests from Russia and abroad, visited Sochi between October 10 and 12 for Russia’s first ever Formula One Grand Prix.

Live television coverage of the race in Sochi, which was provided by Russia’s Rossiya-2 channel, watched 3.4 million people across Russia and it was three times as many comparing with the figure of Russian viewers watching on the average other F1 Grand Prix races.

Less than two months ago Sochi Autodrom, the organizer of the racing event, was awarded the trophy of the Formula One’s best racing track in the 2014 season. The decision to award Sochi the 2014 Race Promoters' Trophy was made at the annual FIA Gala ceremony on December 5, 2014 in Doha, Qatar, and the trophy was officially awarded to Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone on December 19.

The Race Promoters' Trophy is a rotating award and engraved on it are the names of other F1 best racing tracks starting from 1975. The trophy will remain in Sochi throughout 2015 until the new best racing track will be announced at the end of the next season.

Last October, FIA also issued a license for the Moscow Raceway circuit, a racing track outside the Russian capital, officially confirming the track as suitable for hosting Formula One races.

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