Mayor vows not to give up on motor racing pledge despite Formula E blow

The Mayor of the West Midlands has vowed not to give up on bringing motor racing back to the region after his plans for Formula E fell through.

Mayor vows not to give up on motor racing pledge despite Formula E blow

Andy Street had hoped to bring the electric car racing series to the streets of Birmingham for the 2019/20 season, 30 years since the 1990 Superprix – the last race to be held in the West Midlands.

But it was announced on Tuesday that Formula E would be returning to London and not Birmingham.

However despite the blow Mr Street, who pledged to bring racing back in his mayoral manifesto in 2017, said he would "look again" at trying to bring the sport to the region.

He said in a statement: “While it’s great to see Formula E coming back to the UK, it is disappointing that the 2020 race will not be in Birmingham.

"Nevertheless, Formula E continues to grow in popularity and while we couldn’t raise the funding and make it work this time round, we will look at this again to see if there is a further opportunity to bring this exciting sport to the streets of the West Midlands.

"That would be fitting because our region is a world leader in automotive technology and our advanced engineering can be seen in these electric race cars. In the meantime we wish London and Formula E well for the forthcoming event."

Andy Street

Back in May last year, Mr Street revealed he was "very confident" that Formula E would be coming to Birmingham, and that the negotiations were in the "final stages". Two months prior Alejandro Agag, the found of Formula E, said Birmingham was the number one choice to be added to the racing calendar after Montreal dropped out.

However the plans were met with confusion by Birmingham City Council, whose leader said no discussions between him and the mayor had taken place.

Councillor Ian Ward said at the time: "I don’t know what Andy has been doing but there have been no discussions between the organisers of Formula E and Birmingham City Council.

“We don’t know what the full costs of staging this event would be. We don’t even know if the route – which is the roads that would be used that were prescribed by an act of Parliament – would be fit for purpose.

“Most importantly of all, of course, there has been no full consultation with the people of Birmingham."

Formula E is the highest class of competition for electrically powered vehicles, with cars reaching speeds of up to 140mph – around 100mph slower than Formula One cars.

It started in 2014 with 11 races in 10 different host cities.

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