Race 1 - Nov 22, 2019
Race 2 - Nov 23, 2019
ABB Formula E Season 6 Goes Green in Diriyah
After four months of off-season rebuilding, teams and drivers are restless to go wheel-to-wheel in the global all-electric race series
The return of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship to the historic locale of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, for the Season 6 double-header debut on November 22-23 is more than the start of another hotly contested championship campaign. It also demonstrates how effectively the sport – rapidly growing in audience size and engagement – showcases the outstanding performance potential of e-mobility and the technology leadership of ABB, Formula E’s title partner.
Drivers, engineers and mechanics of the all-electric series face a slew of fresh challenges in the 2019-2020 championship, as it welcomes new entries from Porsche and Mercedes – famously successful in motorsports, though untested in this sustainable form of auto racing.
The Diriyah E-Prix is contested on a 2.5-kilometer (1.5-mile) course of 21 turns routed past ancient town walls – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – outside Riyadh, the Saudi capital. Staging an international motorsport event in such a sensitive location is a testament to the muted sound levels and zero-pollution powertrains of the racecars.
The decision to hold races for fully electric cars in an oil-rich region of the world is evidence of a recognition that sustainably sourced electric power can help improve air quality and reduce climate impact. As a global leader in DC fast charging systems, ABB is at the forefront of this revolution. Additionally, ABB has long-standing relationships in Saudi Arabia, including projects to upgrade the country’s rail network power supply and building substations for zero-pollution electric bus networks as well as providing power grid and water delivery systems.
Last year’s Diriyah race was the start of a new era for ABB FIA Formula E, as the series introduced an entirely redesigned generation of racecar – the Gen 2 – which was built around battery technology almost 90 per cent more efficient than that of its predecessor. A further power increase for Season 6 will allow drivers to access a peak of up to 235 kilowatts (320 horsepower) during so-called ‘Attack Mode’. Drivers say the extra power will bring more overtaking and fans watching the action online or on TV will be able to share the drivers’ eye view, thanks to the trial addition of helmet cameras.
Another tweak to the rules allows drivers to score championship points for being fastest in each of the pre-race qualifying stages. And a battle to the final moments of each 45-minute race is assured by a new policy of subtracting onboard energy reserves from the batteries when a mishap causes the cars to run at lower speeds, as they do during a safety-car condition or full-course caution flag.
The rule changes are engineered to keep the competition close and to showcase the special advantages of the powertrains in the second-generation Formula E cars.
The Diriyah race will also begin the 10-race Jaguar I-Pace eTROPHY season. This support series, created for specially prepared racing versions of the Jaguar I-PACE electric SUV, showcases the performance and durability of Jaguar’s battery-powered production EV. A specially modified version of ABB’s Terra DC charger keeps the I-PACE eTROPHY batteries charged for the demanding days of practice, qualifying and racing through the season. ABB has sold more than 11,500 DC fast chargers in 77 countries.
Good to know
Original home of the Saudi royal family and capital of the Emirate of Diriyah.
Undulating with high-speed corners.