NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn is gearing up to host some high-speed auto racing this upcoming weekend.
The waterfront is being turned into an urban race course for the first of its kind event featuring electric cars.
CBS2’s Brian Conybeare was there Wednesday as the cars arrived.
It looked and sounded like a race car assembly line in the tent city of temporary garages that’s gone up along the Brooklyn waterfront.
“There’s never been a race in New York City, an internationally organized race,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said.
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook and Pier 11 near the Atlantic Basin is being transformed into a 1.2 mile Formula 1 style race course for the first ever Formula E Quallcomm New York City E-Prix, featuring all electric race cars — hence the Formula “E.”
The organizers say they want gas powered engines out of existence for good.
“Formula E, with many other people and companies around the world, we want to accelerate that change to full electric to create a cleaner world,” Agag said. “A greener world and cleaner cities.”
As the cars go up to 140 miles-per-hour on the track, neighbors won’t need ear plugs because the electric engines are virtually silent, the only sound is a gentle whirring.
And for those worried about traffic gridlock during the two-day event, fear not — the entire course involves absolutely no public streets.
“New York City and our residents do not like to close down streets for events like this,” City Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-38th) said.
That’s a relief for folks on nearby Van Brunt Street. But just a block away from the grandstand and finish line, they didn’t know much about the races this weekend.
“I find people telling me ‘you heard about the race?’ and I’m like, ‘what race?’,” Red Hook resident Samuel Gonzalez said.
“The E Prix would be great, they need to be a little better about advertising, social media, PR, no one knows about this,” Lower Manhattan resident Maureen Callahan said.
Though nearly 40,000 race fans who do know about it are expected to turn out this weekend, tickets are almost sold out.
Organizers urge everyone going to the “E-Prix” races to leave their own cars at home to reduce emissions. Also, because there’s no parking nearby.