Envision Virgin Racing and British driver Sam Bird will be hoping to mark their 50th Formula E race in style this weekend at the forthcoming Hong Kong E-Prix on Sunday, 10th March.
The team are one of the founding and most successful outfits in the all-electric race series, whilst 32-year-old Bird – who has been with the team since its inception – recently became the first Formula E driver to have recorded victories in each of the five seasons to date.
This weekend the two will be hoping their ‘golden anniversary’ helps them continue their strong run of form, which sees them as front-runners in both the drivers’ and the constructors’ championship.
Racing on a temporary circuit beside the city’s iconic harbourfront, the Hong Kong E-Prix marks the first of two races in Asia, with teams and drivers going head-to-head on the 1.850km, 10-turn circuit reaching speeds exceeding 250kph.
To mark the occasion, the team will be running with a special commemorative decal on their iconic purple and red car livery, as well as have Lei Zhang, Founder and CEO of Envision Group – the team’s majority owners – attend on race day, together with Chairman of the Board of Envision Virgin Racing, Franz Jung.
Mr Zhang said: “I’m looking forward to be joining the Envision Virgin Racing team for their 50th race in Hong Kong, with the event set to be a great spectacle. The team have achieved so much over the past five seasons, and now together with the collaboration of Envision Group, we are very much looking forward to the next 50 races together.”
Sam Bird, a previous winner at the Hong Kong E-Prix, said: “I’m really looking forward to mine, and the team’s, 50th race together as it’s been such an incredible relationship. The Hong Kong track is one we’ve historically performed well at so, as always, we’ll prepare the best we can, and give it our all, but you can never take anything for granted in Formula E and the competition is getting tougher and tougher.”
Team-mate Robin Frijns said: “Hong Kong is always one of the standout races of the year so I’m looking forward to racing and of course, celebrating the team’s anniversary. As always, qualifying will be key in Hong Kong so if we can get a good grid slot, we’re confident we can compete at the front for the race and hopefully come away with a good result.”
Managing Director Sylvain Filippi, who will also be celebrating his 50th race for the team, added: “We’re delighted to be marking this anniversary in Hong Kong and to be joined by Lei Zhang, the Envision Group and so many of our partners. It really promises to be a great event and everyone in the team is working so hard to ensure we are in the best possible shape. We’ve enjoyed a great start to the season with the team currently lying second in the teams’ championship, with a win and two podiums to our name, but there’s still a long way to go so we need to continue our strong momentum.”
During its time so far in Formula E, the team has notched up an impressive eight wins, 22 podiums, seven pole positions, six fastest laps and amassed a tally of 700 points; the third highest of any team. It also boasts a ‘podium percentage rate’ of 44%.
For the very first time, the Hong Kong Formula E race will be broadcast live on BBC 2 from 7:30am on Sunday 10th March.