The FIA Formula E New York City ePrix was amazing! And, it made me a happy motorsports fan to attend such a great race weekend in the Big Apple. I flew from Long Beach, California to New York for the inaugural NYC double header weekend.
That’s right! I live in California and have followed Formula E since the all electric series was announced over 4 years ago. The Long Beach ePrix brought me great joy for 2 years. I volunteered both years in the eVillage so I could be closer to the action. It granted me the chance to talk with other people about how great FE is and what it is going to do for everyday vehicles. Seeing the latest in electric mobility and what is just around the corner regarding all aspects of driving made me an instant fan of Formula E.
Granted, when the season 3 schedule was published I was quite disappointed that Long Beach was nixed from the calendar. But, instead of bitching, I bought a plane ticket, made hotel reservations, and planned what to do on a long weekend in New York City. And, now that I’m back in LA, I have to say wholeheartedly that it was worth every penny and second I invested.
Back story… I was fortunate enough due to my online musings and constant social media posting to be invited by DHL Americas to attend the Friday press conference and pit lane walk at the Long Beach ePrix both years. They must have liked the online attention I brought to DHL because I got the invite to attend the Friday events in New York. It is such a privilege to meet, shake hands, get pics with, and hear from the people that make Formula E great.
A personal highlight on Friday for me was not meeting a particular person, but getting to see the DHL #effibot live and in action on the pit lane. The four wheeled cargo wonder just follows you around with stuff. It was really amazing to see.
— Stephen Harvey (@harvester_sol) July 14, 2017
And here’s a shot of me and Sam Bird (DS Virgin RE Team) as he was leaving the FIA tech station. Little did either of us know that Sam would win BOTH of the NYC double header weekend races and we’d both be on the podium stage at the end of Saturday’s race.
Great to get a pic with the winner of both #NYCePrix races, the talented Sam Bird from the DS Virgin FE team.
And another celeb-fanboy shot. This time with super talented sports announcer Nicki Shields.
— Stephen Harvey (@harvester_sol) July 16, 2017
Friday at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was a good day. But, nothing like what Saturday turned into…
Yes, the entire race was held at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It was off the beaten tourist path and transportation was a bit tricky, but all went well. Formula E ran shuttles (more like full size coaches) from the Barclay’s Center and it made getting there and back relatively easy. There were quite a few local eateries and drinking establishments close by too that helped to pass the time after the race on Sunday. All in all the location felt quite nice and I enjoyed the experience.
Back to Saturday’s event… I mentioned supporting and helping Formula E when they were in Long Beach and that continued on with social media posts and blogging about the New York event too. My efforts did not go unnoticed. I can honestly say that because I was contacted by Formula E staff via Instagram message on Saturday. A phone call happened shortly after the IG message.
The phone conversation was brief but went like this…
Formula E: Hello Stephen, this is Formula E.
Me: Hey, how are you?
Formula E: Are you sitting down? We have a little surprise for you.
Me: Oh really, what is it?
Formula E: We would like to say thanks to you for being a Super Fan. And, want you to present one of the trophies to a driver on the podium today. Is that alright?
Me: <drops phone, begins to tear up, goes speechless for a few seconds, regains composure slightly>
Me: <broken voice> Thank you so much. You don’t know how special this is… of course… what do I need to do.
Formula E: We’ll get back in touch. Stay where you are for now.
Well that brief conversation made me the happiest motorsport fan ever! I saw the Super Fan in Berlin and how ecstatic he was on the podium never thinking that it would be me next. Being picked as the NYCePrix Formula E Super Fan is one of the biggest honors of my life thus far. It’s an experience I will always remember and cherish.
I was fortunate enough to have my better-half right there too! She got the Saturday race podium ceremony video’ed. Take a look and see the perma-grin on my face the entire time. Oh, and did I mention that I was up there next to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin fame.
All-in-all Formula E is growing in size, popularity, and overall fan experience. The series will continue to grow as electric vehicles take further hold in our everyday commuting lives. I am pleased to be a part of such an innovative racing series that is conducted by a fantastic team of individuals dedicated to the success of the budding all electric race series.
I can honestly say the people in the next picture are a driving force behind the success of Formula E. They are part of the talented team that produces awesome electric racing events that thrill audiences. I can’t thank them enough for my fantastic NYCePrix experience.
Formula E has a dedicated fan in me and I will travel to see and be a part of everything involved with it. I encourage any race fan to do the same. Start exploring here: FIA Formula E and get hooked like I have on FE.