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Greater people power for 2017 Formula E race, with organisers looking to expand eVillage and offer more entertainment

Organisers of Hong Kong’s Formula E race are keen to strengthen public involvement for next year’s event, with the expansion of the eVillage among the options.

Lawrence Yu Kam-kee, who just stepped down as Hong Kong Automobile Association president after a third term, hailed the inaugural event at the Central Harbourfront over the weekend as a great success although improvements were needed to make it even better in 2017.

“We are planning to get an additional supplementary race next year and increase the eVillage area so that more people can join and taste the experience of electric-powered car racing,” said Yu, the man behind the first ever formula race in Hong Kong.

“While many racing technical aspects such as the number of competing cars and the length and design of the street circuit in Central will have to get approval from [world body] FIAwe can do something to promote the event by increasing public involvement.”

Yu said there were areas in Central and Western District Promenade that could have been used for the eVillage and which could be included next year to accommodate more people.

Organisers are also considering adding an extra day, on Friday, for eVillage entry at a lower ticket price provided they could identify more entertainment elements and other supplementary services for fans.

The motor racing enthusiast is confident the authorities would allow them to use the same circuit for next year, althought the date may be pushed a bit later to November to avoid the rainy season.

“We have received a lot of positive comments from the motor racing community as well as government officials who attended the event,” he said. “The head of the Formula E racing even told me the Hong Kong race was the best so far and possibly the best of this third season.

“The 1.8 kilometre circuit may need some modification but the race was welcomed by the drivers and there is no reason why we cannot return to Central next year.”

The eVillage was opened on Saturday and Sunday this year at a ticket price of HK$300 each day. Inside the village, fans were able to enjoy a range of displays and activities, including the latest electric and hybrid cars and racing simulators. They were also able to see witness the podium champagne celebrations at the end of the race.