The mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, says he is in 'advanced' negotiations with Formula E.
The mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, says he is in 'advanced' negotiations with Formula E about organising a street race that would revive the Birmingham Superprix. The potential race would form part of the electric racing series' next season, which takes place over 2018/19.
Street pledged to host a street race in Birmingham as part of his May 2017 election manifesto. Any event would need to follow the April 2017 amendment to the Road Traffic Act, which allows motorsport events in England to incorporate the use of closed roads.
The Birmingham Superprix was a Formula 3000 and British Touring Car Championship round that took place between 1986 and 1990 using roads around the south of the city centre. 'Over the last year, we have been in negotiations with the organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship about bringing a road race to Birmingham, effectively reviving the Superprix,' said Street.
'We are now in the advanced stages of these negotiations, [and] we are eager for two main reasons. First, it means we can showcase to the world the changing face of Birmingham city centre which has seen unprecedented investment in recent years. Like many Brummies, I remember the original Superprix fondly. Photos and footage from those events have become almost part of folklore and remind us of how those events thrust the city firmly into the spotlight.
'Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it showcases our region's position as a world leader in next-generation automotive technologies. So much of the engineering that goes into the cars already used in Formula E racing comes from the West Midlands, it makes perfect sense we should be hosting such events.
FE evaluated adding a race in Birmingham to the end of the current season's calendar in place of the cancelled double-header in Montreal, but the championship was eventually capped at 10 cities hosting 12 races, with Hong Kong and New York as the only two-race events.
Britain has not hosted an FE event since the second London E-Prix took place in July 2016. The Battersea Park-enclosed track was set to host races as part of a five-year deal, but this arrangement was ended early after opposition from local residents.