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Can Sam Bird Maintain His Shutout of All Other Drivers at the 2018 Qatar Airways NYC ePrix?

With just days remaining until the FIA Formula E series makes the final stop on its 2018 International Championship Series, all eyes will be on the DS Virgin team and one of its drivers, Sam Bird, who holds the coveted place of being the NYC ePrix’s only winning driver. Coming off their last race in Zurich, Switzerland, the FIA Formula E teams make their first and only U.S. appearance on the streets of New York City’s Red Hook, Brooklyn.

After ten races in exotic locations such as Rio, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Marrakesh, Hong Kong, Santiago, and Mexico City, the series will culminate with its final races in NYC on Saturday and Sunday, July 14th and 15th.Even with last year’s two first place finishes in the NYC ePrix, the DS Virgin racing team, owned by Sir Richard Branson and featuring drivers Sam Bird and Felix Rosenqvist, finished the season in 4th place behind the teams of Mahindra Racing (3rd place), ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport (2nd place), and Renault E.Dams (1st place). In the driver standings, Bird finished last season as the Series’ 4th place finisher behind teammate Rosenqvist who finished in 3rd place. Coming into the final two races of the 2018 season, the DS Virgin team stands in 3rd place with drivers Bird in 2nd place and Rosenqvist in 3rd among all 20 active drivers.

Above: (C) Warren Rosenberg

The FIA Formula E Championship is the world's first fully-electric single-seater racing series, competing on the streets against the backdrop of some of the most iconic. The championship represents a vision for the future of the motor industry, serving as a platform to showcase the latest innovations in electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions. Future seasons will see the regulations open up further allowing manufacturers to focus on the development of motor and battery components, which in turn will filter down to everyday contemporary electric road vehicles.

In addition to holding the season ending race in New York City, other changes apparent in the 2017-18 season include the increased power of the race cars, from 170kW to 180kW, the addition of new race courses in Santiago, Chile, and Rome, Italy, and former IndyCar driver Luca Filippi joining the drivers. What will also be notable to those who come out to enjoy this coming weekend’s race and fan activities, is the new and longer race course, now incorporating 14 turns along its 2.373 kilometer (1.475 mile) track.

Above: The NBA's Brooklyn Nets Dancers on hand to entertain the crowd. (C) Warren Rosenberg

It’s wonderful to have racing back in New York City, the site of many historic races of the past including the 1896 Cosmopolitan Race setting off from the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, the 1908 New York to Paris Race, the wooden track auto races at the Sheepshead Bay Race Track in Brooklyn between 1915 and 1919, and the Madison Square Garden Bowl midget car races in Long Island City Queens in the 1930s.

More about the history of New York Metro area auto racing can be found in the May/June 2017 issue of MetroSports Magazine and the results and analysis of the 2017 inaugural NYC ePrix can be found in the September/October 2017 issue. Always free and online at

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