The 2020-21 season will see the first ever night race in Formula E after it was announced that the Diriyah ePrix would be held under lights with a local start time of 8pm.
The double header Saudi Arabian race is due to take place on the 26th and 27th of February next year, and makes up round three and four of the championship.
Having been held during the day in the previous two years, organisers chose to move the race and install low-consumption LED lights around the same layout that was used previously.
To keep in-line with Formula E’s low carbon philosophy, the lights being used reduce energy consumption by 50% compared to non-LED lights, and the power supplying them comes high performing low-carbon certified hydrogenated vegetable oil made from sustainable materials.
Speaking at the announcement the Saudi Minister for Sport, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Alfaisal Al Saud, said that he was looking forward to the contrast of the technology of the lights and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah.
“In 2018, the ancient historical city of Diriyah made history in hosting the first fully-electric race on the streets of the region,” he said. “In 2019, Diryah was the first to host back to back races during a race weekend in the region and now once again we will make sporting history.
“It is very fitting that a place so ancient will showcase the latest in sustainable technology as Diriyah lights up to shine bright for the world to see. We look forward to the dramatic racing and incredible scenes that are guaranteed to unfold under the lights.”
Co-Founder of Formula E Alberto Longo said that the sustainability aspect of putting on the event was a key consideration, given it is one of the key messages behind the series.
Longo said, “We are very proud to partner with Saudi to create Formula E’s first-ever night race. I am confident the race will be spectacular and lead to a style of competitive action we haven’t seen before.
“As with everything we do, our first thought was about how to bring our sporting vision to life in a sustainable way. Before we innovate our racing product we must be confident we can maintain the standards of sustainable practice we hold ourselves accountable to.”