A new "Formula E" global series of city center electric car races will start in '14 after motor sport's governing body "licensed the commercial rights to a Hong Kong-based consortium," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. London-based Spanish businessman Enrique Banuelos will be the lead investor in Formula E Holdings Ltd, with compatriot and fellow shareholder Alejandro Agag serving as CEO. British businessman Paul Drayson, "a former Science Minister and amateur racing driver" who runs Drayson Racing Technologies, is also involved in the project that will cost about €50M ($62.6M) to launch. The series, sanctioned by the Int'l Automobile Federation (FIA), will look to race in at least 10 different cities, including five in Europe. Some of the proposed locations around the world include Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Sydney, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Mexico City, Miami and L.A. The plans are for a grid of 10 teams and 20 drivers in '14 with an expansion to 14 teams the following year. Entrants will be able to "use their own cars or one based on a Formulec EF01 prototype, which has already achieved a top speed of 240kph" (REUTERS, 8/27).
Events and Attractions
Roger Federer's trip to Brazil as part of the Gillette Federer Tour has been confirmed, according to IG.com.br. The event will take place in the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo from Dec. 6-8. Others participants include Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Thomaz Bellucci, Bruno Soares, Marcelo Melo, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan. Federer "will participate in two exhibition matches." The first will be on Dec. 6 against Brazil's Bellucci and the second on Dec. 8 against France's Tsonga. The Tour will also see the World No. 1 travel to Argentina and Colombia. The event in São Paulo will "also have interesting female duels." Sharapova will take on Wozniacki on Dec. 7 and the next day Williams will play Azarenka. The event "will be Federer's first trip to South America" (IG.com.br, 8/26).
Former NBA player Yao Ming "would like to see a bigger push for sports in Chinese schools," according to Sun Xiaochen of the CHINA DAILY. The "first phase of his own efforts" came to an end Saturday as the inaugural Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season concluded in Leshan Stadium. The charitable program reached almost 27,000 students from 47 primary schools in 17 different cities throughout the country. A total of 360 representatives gathered in Leshan, Sichuan province last week to attend the event's final stage, which featured a four-day camp, after-school activities and a mini tournament. The program was supported by NBA Cares and China Youth Development Foundation, and NBA L.A. Clippers F Caron Butler was also "brought in to participate." Yao, however, said that "much work remains." Yao: "The development of school sports activities in China remains small. Sports still lag far behind studies in terms of importance in students' school lives. Sports should play a much bigger role in school life for kids than it does now" (CHINA DAILY, 8/27).