An ABB FIA Formula E Championship race in Birmingham will be mutually beneficial for both the British city and Formula E, according to one of the drivers who raced in several of the original Formula 3000 Superprix.
Phil Andrews, who is from the UK’s second largest city, competed in the Superprix meeting three times between 1988 and 1990 and believes that a return to the streets is “perfect timing” for the city.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said earlier this week that the city was in “the final stages of negotiations with Formula E” about hosting a race in Birmingham.
“It is exciting to hear that there could be a return to racing on the streets of Birmingham and I think there is an appetite for it in the city,” Andrews told e-racing365.
“From a sporting point of view the subject of racing coming back to Birmingham does crop up reasonably regularly.
“I think the Superprix had a real legacy from the five races that were held and there is a generation of kids who went to those events and became racing enthusiasts.
“So the hunger for another event is there and something that is relevant and has such good forward thinking messages like Formula E makes a lot of sense for the city.
“I think the timing is perfect too with the Commonwealth Games coming in 2022.”
Andrews, who is still involved in the industry as an instructor and consultant, thinks that Jaguar will be a big attraction for the race and receive great support from the city.
“The whole JLR [Jaguar Land Rover] thing is a massive influence and the growth in the city and region through their employment and industry has been amazing,” said the former DAMS and Jordan F1 test driver.
“With the Jaguar team being based locally and the fact they are now among the top runners, I think there would be an even bigger appetite for local people to support them on their own doorstep.”
It remains unlikely that Birmingham will be granted a place on the Season Five calendar which is set to be revealed next month. A potential deal for the summer of 2020 is believed be more likely.