Ready or not, electric-powered motorsports is spreading rapidly and, if history is repeated, it will accelerate the development of road-going electric vehicles just as petroleum-powered racing did more than a century ago.
Formula E already is a global racing series and in 2021 an electric-powered off-road racing series, Extreme E, is scheduled to launch.
Now comes word of SuperCharge, which plans to stage eight festival-style “events” in urban areas around the world, each with 16 drivers and each involving 15 6-lap races per event, apparently two cars at a time with the losing driver eliminated.
“SuperCharge heralds (a) new take on environmental and financially sustainable motorsport,” promoters claim.
Races will be contested on a 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) circuit that features something called the “SuperLoop” shortcut that can be used once each race, a water gantry and a 2.5-meter (8.8 feet) jump “making spectating even more exciting and unpredictable.” The tracks also will include a “low-friction” section to enhance sliding.
The specially built racing cars, dubbed SC01, will have 670-horsepower battery propulsion and will sprint to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, organizers claim. SuperCharge says the cars are being constructed in consultation with automakers “to showcase the latest and future electric cars and battery technology.”
“Motorsport is at a crossroads,” Rob Armstrong, SuperCharge managing director is quoted in the news release. Armstrong formerly was involved in the FIA Rallycross and FIM Speedway (motorcycle) world championships.
“With many countries and cities already announcing plans to ban internal combustion-engine cars in the coming years, the need for road car-based electric motorsport is becoming more and more compelling,” Armstrong said. “We believe it is only a matter of time before there are more electric motorsport series. Given this rapidly increasing EV momentum, we believe the timing and appeal of SuperCharge is ideal and see a clear space for it as the road car-relevant motorsport series.”
“The SuperCharge series has amazing allure for a race driver like me,” driver Tanner Faust is quoted in the news release. “In my career I’ve found that for a new motorsport to grow successfully it has to appeal to a young demographic, as well as the major car manufacturers,” he is quoted in the series announcement.
“The excitement of electric acceleration, high-performance and cutting-edge technology, combined with the tempo of the race day, will tick both boxes and in turn ensure a very successful series. At a time when the automotive enthusiast world is so strong, and yet the manufacturer involvement in traditional motorsport is weakening, we really need an environmentally and financially sustainable, technologically relevant racing series like SuperCharge to reinvigorate motorsport at its core.”
For more information, visit the SuperCharge website.