Matchett: ‘The Future of Motor Racing Isn’t Waiting Just Around the Corner … it’s Already With Us’
Varsha on What to Watch: ‘Qualifying, Pit Stops & Championship’
CHARLOTTE – FOX Sports is live from Brooklyn for the doubleheader ABB FIA Formula E Championship season finale 2018 New York City ePrix July 14-15, with Saturday’s race airing live on the FOX broadcast network, beginning at 3:00 PM ET with 30 minutes of pre-race coverage. Sunday’s race airs Sunday at 2:30 PM ET on FS1.
Racing in Red Hook for the second consecutive season, the 2018 circuit is slightly longer than last year, spanning 1.47 miles (2.373 km), with the signature New York City skyline serving as a backdrop to the race along the Brooklyn waterfront.
Ralph Sheheen hosts FOX Sports’ coverage, with the Formula E broadcast team of Bob Varsha, Jack Nicholls and three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti calling the action. Nicki Shields and Amanda Busick report from the paddock. Former Formula One mechanic Steve Matchett delivers FOX Sports pre-race features from Brooklyn.
For Matchett, who spent much of his career in tech-leading F1 garages, cutting-edge work being done in Formula E is not going unnoticed.
“In terms of the engineering of the cars: the building of a swift, nimble, reliable machine, we are looking at a unique championship,” Matchett said. “The chassis has no gasoline-powered engine, but that doesn’t make the challenge any less demanding — quite the opposite, it makes the task even more demanding! Everything is new. Formula One engineers can refer back to data logs from 1950 if need be — there are research libraries bulging with reference books on grand prix technology. Not so in Formula E. Six years ago this series didn’t exist.”
For Varsha, there are three things for viewers to keep an eye on this weekend:
“Qualifying, pit stops and championships,” Varsha said. “We race on tight street circuits, so qualifying well is critical, and the fast-paced group sessions followed by single-lap Super Pole runs produce great drama.
“Then, there are the mid-race pit stops, making their final appearance this season, in which the drivers leap from their energy-depleted cars and switch to fully-charged machines. Every stop is barely-controlled chaos … races can be won or lost during this transition.
“Finally, both driver and constructor titles are very much in play in Brooklyn, as Jean Eric Vergne tries to hold off DS Virgin driver Sam Bird, winner of both races in New York last year, for the driver’s crown. Among the teams, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler has ridden wins from Lucas DGrassi and Daniel Abt to come from nowhere and challenge Vergne, Andre Lotterer and their Techeetah squad.”