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Thrills, technology and triumph: Diriyah E-Prix’s spectacular opening day sets high standards for electric racing

RIYADH: The inaugural day of the Diriyah E-Prix unfolded with an electrifying blend of high-speed excitement, cutting-edge technology and captivating moments, marking a stellar start to the highly anticipated racing weekend.

As the first race day began, the track came alive with the whirr of electric engines, showcasing the prowess of Formula E’s innovative racing technology.

Drivers from renowned teams navigated the challenging circuit with precision, each maneuver and overtake keeping spectators at the edge of their seats.

The Diriyah E-Prix proved once again that electric racing is not just about sustainability but is a thrilling spectacle of skill and strategy.

Championing sustainability: A core theme

True to the spirit of Formula E, sustainability took center stage at Diriyah E-Prix. The event not only entertained but also emphasized the importance of sustainable practices in the fast-paced world of racing.

Speaking to Arab News, the president of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation Prince Khaled bin Sultan Al-Faisal Al-Saud stressed the Kingdom’s role in sustainability.

“(Sustainability) plays a big role and it’s a key element in transforming Saudi Arabia from dependence on oil to new technologies and different sources of power,” he said.

He added that Saudi Arabia relies less on electricity coming from petrochemicals products: “Most of the materials we use here are recycled sustainable and environment friendly.

“This shows the direction of Saudi Arabia’s investment in different sources of energy.”

Hosting such races has a “big impact” on the local motorsport culture, and benefits the community, Prince Khaled said.

“Saudi Arabia has a very young population. We have a lot of people who like entertainment and sport, so this gives them an opportunity; instead of watching this event on TV or through social media, they can come and see it by themself, which brings them closer to the teams and the drivers.”

Prince Khaled added that such events could be an inspiration for Saudis: “They can be drivers or a team manager or an engineer that helps develop new technology.”

He also highlighted the benefits such events bring for tourism and the economy of Saudi Arabia. “We see a lot of people that come (from) outside of the Kingdom to watch this race either spectators or from the team.”

Off the track: Engaging experiences and cultural highlights

Beyond the racing action, spectators immersed themselves in a world of entertainment and cultural richness. The Diriyah E-Prix venue showcased the perfect blend of modernity and tradition, offering fans a chance to explore the distinctive heritage of Diriyah.

From interactive exhibits highlighting the evolution of electric vehicles to cultural displays, the event created an engaging and immersive experience for all attendees.

Global collaboration and local flair

The Diriyah E-Prix brought together racing enthusiasts from around the world, creating a diverse and dynamic atmosphere. The event’s success was not only a testament to the global appeal of Formula E but also showcased the rich hospitality and organizational prowess of Saudi Arabia.

The seamless collaboration between international racing entities and local authorities underscored the potential for motorsports to bridge cultures and bring people together.

Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer of Formula E, told Arab News that this was their sixth year participating in the Kingdom.

Speaking of the collaboration between Formula E and local organizers and government entities in Saudi Arabia to foster the growth of electric racing in the region, he said that they have “a very good relationship with the Minister of Sports and that is what is making the race happen year after year.

“We’re sold out for today and tomorrow as well. There’s going to be a massive crowd,” he said. “I just want the people to enjoy and have fun.”

Now that the first day of the Diriyah E-Prix has concluded, the anticipation for the remaining races and events has reached new heights. With each team and driver eyeing victory, and the backdrop of the historic Diriyah adding a touch of grandeur, the weekend promises to deliver more unforgettable moments, cementing the Diriyah E-Prix as a flagship event on the global motorsports calendar.

As the racing community and fans eagerly await the next rounds, Diriyah is an example of how motorsports can transcend boundaries and create lasting memories.

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