May 7, 2018 / 11:51 PM / 7 months ago

Motor racing - Birmingham in advanced talks for Formula E race

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula E sees staging a race in Britain as a priority and Birmingham is one of several options being considered, a spokesman for the all-electric series said on Tuesday.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street had earlier told British media that Birmingham was in advanced talks to host a race next year.

“Regarding an ePrix in the UK, we want to find the right venue for the long-term,” the spokesman said. “We’re currently evaluating a number of options and Birmingham is one of them.”

A race in Britain’s second largest city would bring back memories of the Birmingham Superprix, a Formula 3000 race that was held between 1986 and 1990.

“Over the last year, we have been in negotiations with the organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship about bringing a road race to Birmingham, effectively reviving the Superprix,” Street said.

“We are now in the advanced stages of these negotiations.”

Street said Birmingham, which will host the Commonwealth Games in 2022, wanted to showcase its revamped centre and also the region’s position “as a world leader in next generation automotive technologies”.

Jaguar Land Rover, which has its own Formula E team, is based in nearby Coventry.

“So much of the engineering that goes into the cars already used in Formula E racing comes from the West Midlands, it makes perfect sense we should be hosting such events,” Street added.

“If we are successful in concluding the deal, this Formula E race will take place next summer on a route similar to the one used in the original Superprix.”

The last Formula E race to be held in England was in London’s Battersea Park in July, 2016 but that was discontinued after residents complained of disruption.

“The UK has a strong racing heritage and is an important market for Formula E, so it’s a priority to bring the race back to British soil,” the spokesman said.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

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