Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix — what to look out for as Formula E zooms into Jamsil
The world's fastest electric cars and their drivers will hit the streets of Seoul from August 13 for the 2022 Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix, the final stop on Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Hosted by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is an international single-seater motorsport championship for electric cars, the first single-seater racing series other than Formula One to be given world championship status.
This season started out January in Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, passed through Rome, Monaco, Berlin, Marrakesh in Morocco, New York, London and will end here in Seoul.
The Seoul E-Prix has been a long time coming, having been canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
First conceived in 2011 to as a solution to the environmental problems including noise pollution and carbon emissions caused by Formula One, the first Formula E World Championship was held three years later in 2014 in China, becoming the first sport event to achieve a certified net zero carbon footprint.
Instead of the sputtering sound of engines, these electric racing cars make a lower whirring sound as the powertrains drive the wheels forward without any of that environmentally-damaging combustion.
This season, 11 teams of 21 drivers will drive through the streets of southern Seoul for the final race.
The 19-turn 2.8-kilometer (1.74 mile) course is predominantly within the Jamsil Sports Complex, home of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, with two long stretches on Olympic Road and Baekjegobun Road, which run down two sides of the park.
The course starts on Olympic Road, loops up past Jamsil Baseball Stadium, home of the Doosan Bears and LG Twins, and into the Olympic Stadium. After circling the inside of the Olympic Stadium, racers circle out between Jamsil Arena and Jamsil Indoor Swimming Pool, before reaching Baekjegobun Road.
A straight stretch down Baekjegobun Road leads into a hard right, which takes the cars back to the start on Olympic Road.
A longer street race was originally proposed for the Seoul E-Prix, possibly around Gwanghwamun in central Seoul, but feasibility studies pushed organizers to the Jamsil route, which is significantly less disruptive.
In tandem with Korea’s first electric car race, Seoul City will hold what they hope to be the largest tourism festival in the capital, Seoul Festa 2022, from Aug. 10 to Aug. 14 at Jamsil Sports Complex.
The Seoul Festa will include a Seoul Shopping Festa from Aug. 10 to 31, with over 3,000 department stores, duty-free shops, and online retail outlets offering discounts of up to 50 percent as well as water sports and movies at parks near the Han River.
During the race weekend, a number of Korea's biggest music stars will take to the stage alongside the Seoul E-Prix, with popular stars CL, Zico and Dynamic Duo all scheduled to perform.
Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride.
Where to watch
▶The 2022 Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix will be held in Jamsil, southern Seoul on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14
▶ Practice runs will be held throughout Aug. 12
▶Two races will be held, one each on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. Qualifying runs will be held earlier in the day
▶Tickets range from 99,000 won ($76) to 500,000 won and can be purchased on Korean ecommerce website WeMakePrice
▶International fans can find detailed English-language instructions on how to buy tickets on the FIA Formula E website
▶If you can't make it to the race, Formula E races can be watched live on TV around the world and on SPOTV here in Korea
BY YUN SO-HYANG AND JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]