A local organization in the Dutch city of Eindhoven has formally announced its intention to host the first-ever Formula E night race in the 2021-2022 season.
During a presentation to media and event partners, the local organization named Formula Eindhoven unveiled details of its planned bid for a round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Season Eight.
The driving force behind the project is Peter-Paul Laumans, an entrepreneur in online businesses, who first found out about Formula E when visiting the Indianapolis 500 a couple of years ago.
He is pictured above (center) at Thursday’s event alongside Envision Virgin Racing Formula E driver Robin Frijns and amateur racer Rob Kamphues.
“I was invited as a corporate guest and got to talk with the likes of [Michael] Andretti and [Roger] Penske,” Laumans said.
“We spoke about American racing, but they all told me that Formula E was going to be the next big thing. That is how the idea started.”
Laumans started talks with the Formula E promoter in London and set up an organization to get preparations underway.
“It is still early days, but we believe in the potential and the feedback has been very positive,” he added.
Eindhoven, located in the south of The Netherlands and close to Belgium and Germany, is known for its major role in technology.
It is home to a world-renowned technical university and a wide variety of tech-oriented companies located in the area, such as electronics group Philips, ASML (the worldwide leader in lithography for the semiconductor industry), leading semiconductor company NXP and automotive companies such as DAF and VDL.
Several companies, such as SAP and Rabobank, have joined the initiative as partners for the bidding process.
“The next step for us is to prepare our bid that will have to be submitted to Formula E in March next year. We then expect a decision on the calendar for 2021-2022 season by July,” Laumans said.
The idea for a night race was logical, according to the organizer: “Eindhoven is known as the City of Lights in The Netherlands, so our plan was to come up with something unique and stage the first-ever night race in Formula E.”
The idea of Formula E hosting a night race has been considered on several occasions previously, including for the Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia, but has never materialized.
The presentation was held at a local Audi dealership, Van den Udenhout, one of the launching partners of the event, in the presence of Envision Virgin Formula E driver Robin Frijns.
The Dutchman is very enthusiastic about the project and has been providing valuable input to the organizers.
“Eindhoven is the technology capital in The Netherlands, so it makes perfect sense to do it here,” said Frijns, who had just returned from last weekend’s race at Marrakesh.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm for Formula 1 in The Netherlands, but it would be great to have a Formula E race, too!”
Frijns told e-racing365 last year that Eindhoven was a “serious” prospect for a future Formula E race, and a letter of intent was sent from the local council to Formula E in June by Laumans and others.
Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report