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From Red Hook Brooklyn to Truth-or-Dare New Mexico

by Warren Rosenberg, MetroSports Magazine - July 11, 2021

It was on this weekend four years ago, July 15th and 16th, 2017, that the team comprising car owner Sir Richard Branson and Formula E race car driver Sam Bird captured back-to-back wins for the Virgin Atlantic Racing Team in the inaugural New York City ePrix race. It was a first for team owner Sir Richard Branson who was on hand for the race weekend.

The first Formula E race in New York City and the first international automobile race on the streets of New York City in more than a century. That weekend, Sir Richard and Sam celebrated together on the podium, twice, winning both the Saturday and Sunday races and writing their names in New York City racing history.

Photo Credits: Warren Rosenberg

This year, on Sunday, July 11th, 2021, on that same race course on the streets of Red Hook Brooklyn as part of the two-day weekend event, Sam Bird again claimed victory in the New York City ePrix, only this time, without Sir Richard Branson on hand.

Photo Credit: FIA Formula E

For the 2021 Formula E season, driver Sam Bird has switched to the Jaguar Racing team and Sir Richard has switched to the Virgin Galactic space flight team. On this Sunday, when Sam Bird claimed victory on the New York City ePrix track in Red Hook Brooklyn driving the Jaguar I –Type 5 all electric race car, Sir Richard rocketed off into space in the hybrid-fueled Virgin Galactic VSS Unity space plane and, he too, claimed success. For Sir Richard, the experience was “indescribably beautiful”. With his ride today, Sam Bird became the first Formula E driver to win three times on the same racecourse. With his ride today, Sir Richard became the first commercial space flight owner to launch himself into space.

Photo Credit: Jeff Faust. Creative Commons 2.0 License

The Envision Virgin Racing car driven by Nick Cassidy finished second in today’s race which was good enough to keep the Envision Virgin Racing team in first place in the 2020-2021 season’s Championship standings. Overall, a good day for both.

Photo Credit: FIA Formula E

For prior years' coverage of the FIA NYC ePrix in MetroSports Magazine, see:

And our full issues of Sept/Oct 2017; Sept/Oct 2018; and Jul/Aug 2019 at


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