When John Dagys approached me at the Nürburgring FIA WEC round in July 2017 about the possibility of starting a site dedicated to electric racing, there was little hesitation in saying yes.
I had known John since I’d shown him around the Lola HQ in the UK when he was working for Fox Sports back in 2011 and much admired his work. There was a yawning gap for a dedicated EV site so all systems were very quickly go, largely thanks to ‘JD’.
The Formula E ground was fertile. That very same month had seen Porsche and Mercedes commit to fielding factory teams and there was a sense that Formula E was the ‘magic carpet’ to ride.
Everything happened quickly and by mid-September, e-racing365 was launched.
More than just filling a niche, it was purposely fast-tracked to capitalize on the final season of Gen 1 competition before the much heralded second rules set iteration kicked in for 2018 with the new manufacturers.
The first event at Hong Kong in December was fraught. A double header start was brutal but immediately the paddock was talking about e-racing365 via breakout stories and the daily Notebook which quickly became a favorite in and out of the paddock.
Over the two years and three months of filing news and features there are inevitably stand-out moments.
By far the most memorable story we revealed was the idea, concept and formation of the Extreme E platform in August 2018.
In the early summer of 2018 a highly detailed tip-off led to a trail of information leading to Alejandro Agag’s new adventure: Extreme E. At first it sounded outrageously fanciful and I had to triple-check that this wasn’t a complete send-up.
But it wasn’t and it all stemmed from Agag and Gil de Ferran having a coffee one Sunday morning and getting creative. Remarkable.
It remains to see if the project will work and how they will pull off the numerous challenges, environmental messaging and legacy aspects but few doubt that if anyone can pull it off then Agag is likely to be the man.
Then there was the intrigue which circumnavigated the complex and fascinating story of Nissan’s 2018-19 powertrain, which is detailed here. It was by far and away the most intense story of e-racing365’s history.
The whip-like ricochets of this episode echoed through the paddock and literally changed the rules overnight. E-racing365 was there to break its fall-out.
There have been difficult times. Notably, and inevitably, some disagreements and tense situations with team principals and championship officials were intense.
Were they worthwhile to provide interesting, informed and original news content? Most readers seemed to think so. We know we are read by many in the paddock because they told us.
One manufacturer even alluded to what they described as “an alarm system” in their garage that sounded when our Notebooks are published. If it was at an opportune time they would then down tools and read it!
We also know that most of the drivers in the championship read us too.
Amusingly at last May’s Monaco E-Prix, Mahindra Racing turned the tables with a ‘grill the media’ podcast. Jerome d’Ambrosio asked what methods we employed to get stories and what the depth of our sources was. It was super interesting to see what the star performers thought about what was published about them.
Sadly, for reasons outlined by John earlier this month on e-racing365, creating, maintaining and practicing independent media coverage of a global series like Formula E doesn’t run on fresh air or indeed electricity alone. It needs investors, it needs partners.
There is great privilege and freedom in writing for genuine independent sites like e-racing365. This is far from glamourous work.
It is waiting around for drivers, team managers and officials, who are often not in the best of moods. It is making do with a stale sandwich for dinner at 10 p.m. while most others are at a swanky bar or glittering gala dinner. It is usually making sense and sometimes triple-checking what is going on in a complex, sometimes paranoid and suspicious world.
Remarkably, somehow there are still doubters out there that believe, quite irrationally, that Formula E is nothing more than a cosmetic marketing formula just riding a trend. It is of course so much more than that.
The hope is that the editorial success of e-racing365, which became the go-to place for Formula E news, greatly added to the enjoyment of it for you, the reader.
The site will continue strongly, covering an increasing variety of electric racing in touring car, rally, rallycross, motorbike and single-seater disciplines, and more to come, to inform and entertain on this growing strand of motorsport.
I, for one, will be a daily reader of the content that John Dagys, Jake Kilshaw and Daniel Lloyd will continue to ensure is at the forefront of great independent writing that gives EV competition the coverage it deserves.