New York is known for many sports, but auto racing is not one of them. That will change, at least for one weekend, as Indy-style cars will race in the streets of Brooklyn. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez has the story.
The Queen Mary II is what's drawing crowds now to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. But next month, the site will be packed with race car enthusiasts when for the first time, the city will host an Indy-style racing series.
"To be able to come here and race in New York is what every series has been trying to do for many, many years,” said Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Auto Sport.
These are not your father's racecars. They are powered by electricity.
"It's a very new series. It's very new technology. It's electric. All electric cars. For us as a race team, it was really exciting to be one of the first teams to sign up," Andretti said.
Michael Andretti knows all about racing. His father is Mario Andretti, one of the most successful Americans in traditional Formula One racing, a phenomenon in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. But in 2017, Michael Andretti is the owner of an electric car team.
"This is the future. And it's cool to be part of the future,” Andretti said.
This is the third year of Formula E racing, which is gaining traction as the technology of electric cars advances. The cars now reach speeds of 180 mph.
There will be two days of action on the Red Hook waterfront, July 15 and 16. The track will stretch 1.2 miles long around these parking lots, with 10 curves.
At a promotional event in Manhattan, Andretti explained how the team is preparing.
"We have all the specifics of the racetrack and things that we can literally put on a simulator. So we do a lot of simulator work. And then we also have the experience that we've had at other racetracks,” Andretti said.
For Andretti's sponsor, Formula E is a way to showcase clean energy vehicles with no climate-harming emissions.
"As a global insurance company, we're very conscious of the effect that climate change, global warming is having on the risks to coastal areas,” said Adrian Britton, Communications Director of MS Amlin.
Ten teams from around the world will be competing.
Tickets for the Formula E race are $85 for adults and $42.50 for kids.
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster. And Formula E officials are signing up volunteers to work the event.