Held in Brooklyn, the event will see Sam Bird joined by fellow Brit and reserve driver Alex Lynn – deputising for the absent Jose Maria Lopez – to give the championship’s first ever all-British pairing.
Last time out in Berlin, Virgin Racing enjoyed a successful weekend with both drivers scoring points in both races to leave them in fourth place in the team standings – 40 points clear of their nearest rival.
Now the all-electric championship heads to New York for rounds nine and ten and the penultimate city in the 2016/2017 season calendar. The purpose-built 1.953km, 10-turn track will see drivers reach speeds of up to 195km/h and contend with two different race distances – with 43 laps on Saturday and 49 on Sunday – designed to give teams an extra challenge to contend with.
Bird said: “From my time on the simulator, the track looks great and should provide some close racing for the New York fans. With two races to contend with, each different lengths, strategy is going to be key, especially when there’s twice as many points up for grabs.”
Lynn said: “To be making my Formula E debut in New York is a fantastic feeling. With such a competitive field, preparation is key so we’ve been working hard with the engineers, on the sim and out on the test track. The car feels good and I’m confident I can deliver for the team.”
Throughout the weekend, the drivers will also have the support of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson – who was recently announced as the team’s new reserve driver – who will attend the Big Apple event.
Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “We’ve been very impressed with Alex so far and together with Sam I think they’re going to make a great duo. The team did a fantastic job last time out in Berlin and we had great pace but I know there’s more to come and a podium in New York is our goal.”
“As a team, New York is also a very special event for us with as much happening off the track as on it, such as our pioneering Innovation Summit with Sir Richard Branson in which we’re bringing 250 of the city’s most influential business leaders together to discuss their role in addressing climate change.”
DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “We’ve undertaken a strong testing
programme since the Berlin race to improve the efficiency and the pace of the car for New York. Both drivers have spent many hours in our simulator learning the track and how to manage the energy. We’ve identified the points we needed to work on to make sure our drivers will be able to fight at the top.”
The New York rounds (9 and 10) of the FIA Formula E Championship take place on July 15 and 16.