• French Host 1st Electric Grand Prix Race

Automotive racing has a long history in many countries, but France was the first to hold a Grand Prix race. The small town of Pau hosted the event in 1901 on the short 1.7 mile course that runs through the town. The town is about 50km from the Spanish border and is known as a resort area set among beautiful rolling hills. It took them until 1933 to set up an annual Grand Prix race for the town, but ever since then its people have been enamored with racing.

This past weekend saw a change for this town and its racing heritage. Instead of roaring loud Formula 3 cars tearing up the race track, 12 drivers took electric race cars out for this new event. It must have been an odd sight considering that these petrol heads are used to the sounds associated with Formula racing and thrive upon the excitement, but this sleepy little French town was hardly even disturbed by the low hum emitted from these new race cars.

Full story after the jump.

One spectator described the race as, “Its pleasant – and odd, It lacks the charm of F3.” These sentiments were echoed by die hard racing fans around town, but heads of the electric racing companies found some hope among the clamor as well. Exagon Engineering is part of one of the racing teams that came to the event and Luc Marchetti of the team said, “You need to give it time to develop but I think we’re giving things a helping hand with the car races.” Many other innovators in the electric car field feel the same way and are hopeful that one day these electric race machines will be the dominant style of racing.

French Host 1st Electric Grand Prix Race
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The racing history in the town is undeniable and interestingly enough the first Grand Prix race held there was actually part of a much larger event. The event held in 1901 was named Circuit du Sud-Ouest and it featured three different classes of cars. The name Grand Prix came from the different prizes awarded to winners of the respective classes. Hence the prize, Grand Prix du Pau was actually only awarded to the fastest driver in the “Heavy” class of cars. The race course is formed around the center of the city and multiple roads are closed off to from a large circuit.

French Host 1st Electric Grand Prix Race
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Throughout history the course has changed very little and remains very similar to the Monaco Grand Prix races due to the geographical similarities.
Since 1933 onward the race has been called the French Grand Prix and the driver with the most wins at this track is none other than Michael Schumacher with 8 victories. Of the twelve racers in this year’s inaugural electric grand prix, several are famous for other things. Fabien Barthez is the goalkeeper from the legendary team that brought France the World Cup Championship in 1998. Another notable entry was Nicola Prost, son of Formula 1 Champion driver Alain Prost. These famous drivers were out sported by a local to the area by the name of Mike Parisy who ended up taking the checkered flag in front of home town fans.

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Source: Reuters

Matt McDonald
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  (331) posted on 09.7.2011

I think you are wrong, with the growing demand for electric car. The technology is getting better as well as the performance. In no meantime, this vehicle would be as reliable as gasoline-powered vehicle.

  (365) posted on 09.7.2011

I really can’t stop laughing on this one! I never thought that its possible to produce a race between electric car! Oh come on! This vehicle is not that reliable plus it has a less power output.

  (516) posted on 08.4.2011

I would say that the race is just fair enough, and I guess this is the best way to promote the electric vehicle. This type of car really helps in the environment. And I think there’s a newer technology set for EV. 

  (358) posted on 08.4.2011

Well, I think this race really exists! Although, I’m not into an electric vehicle, I bet it would be a great alternative for gasoline-powered car, since there’s a crisis in fuel. 

  (762) posted on 07.1.2011

haha. I think this is the worst idea that I have ever heard! It would be better if they have host a more “realistic” thing over this one! Let’s just hope that this is the first and the last for this event!

  (427) posted on 07.1.2011

hmm. We all know on how unreliable are electric cars and how come they are hosting an event for this one! Well, I guess they have activated the diesel engine of this car to support the electric engine in case that it loses its power.

  (433) posted on 05.27.2011

Well, if this one actually succeeds, then we can pretty much say that this is going to be a long time event. But of course, that success would depend on us car fans supporting this.

  (592) posted on 05.27.2011

hey, did they say that this one is just a one off event or are they going to hold it annually. I really do hope that this would be a regular one, since it would really pave the way for electric cars.

  (427) posted on 05.26.2011

Well, this is probably the best time to see if electric cars will indeed be as reliable as their makers claim. This one should have been done a long time ago.

  (1211) posted on 05.26.2011

Ha, they’re finally making this one/ a lot of folks have already said that there should really be a racing series for electric cars, and this one is definitely a good start.

  (273) posted on 05.26.2011

It’s shocking to know that there is a French Grand Prix. I never heard this in news before But I think it sound fun though I’m not convinced on the reliability of electric cars.
I still want to see a the race on F1 than this event.

  (398) posted on 05.26.2011

I think the ambiance of the place would be the same with the Formula One since the race track is somewhat similar with the Monaco track though in here electric cars are racing!

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