Bournemouth launch bid to host Formula E race

The bid, created by the Wessex Entrepreneurs group, aims to use the “background” of a Formula E race to drive business growth and present the seaside town as a “gateway to an international Dorset”.

The proposal is for a clockwise coastal street circuit that would ideally host a series double header for an initial three-year bid running from 2023 to 2026.

As part of a week-long ‘festival’ that also includes music and cultural elements, a tandem business conference would help create an expected 250 to 3000 jobs.

According to an article posted by the Bournemouth Echo, Tony Williams, the main sponsor of the upcoming race, said: “We are selling it like a British Monaco.

“The only way you can protect jobs is by having a vibrant local economy, and that’s what the eGrand Prix focuses on – it’s going to be a center for sustainability.

“The eGrand Prix is ​​the thing that opens the door to a world where Dorset should be and be active.

“The province has fallen into disrepair in recent years.

“We are trying to make the quantum leap back, with Bournemouth as the gateway and Formula E as the flag to wave to the world and help rejuvenate the rest of Dorset.

“It requires the public sector and the private sector to work together in the same space — that’s never been done before.”

The circuit’s original layout, proposed by Wessex Entrepreneurs, is approximately 5.4 miles in length and includes a series of roundabouts and part of the A338 which runs past Bournemouth Pier and the Royal Bath hotel.

Dorset already has ties to electric motorsport, with Bovington’s military base stepping up to host the final round of the inaugural Extreme E season in December – following the COVID-19-related cancellation of the Argentine and Brazilian rounds.

Due to the pandemic pushing back the return of a London Formula E race, with the ExCeL Center’s “multi-year” deal to host the championship not getting off the ground until 2021, an event in Bournemouth would likely overlap if it gets the green light.

While the commercial case for a Formula E race in Bournemouth may be viable for the council, it is at odds with the championship’s own ambitions to race in ‘Tier One’ cities like New York City, Paris and Rome.

The plans of the Wessex Entrepreneurs group align with Formula-Eindhoven, a faltering Dutch bid that would give Robin Frijns and newly crowned world champion Nyck de Vries a home race.

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