Thrills at debut TAG Heuer-backed Formula E race

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This weekend saw the launch of Formula E, a new brand of electric motorsport backed by Swiss watchmaker with a history of automotive timing.

TAG Heuer’s shield logo and colours were on show around the 3.4km circuit inside Beijing’s Bird Nest stadium as 20 Spark Renault SRT_01E electric racing cars got underway and the brand’s timekeeping kept teams, drivers, fans and the media up-to-date with millisecond timing information.

The zero emissions event unfolded as a closely fought 25-lap race, won on the final corner by Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas di Grassi after leader Nicolas Prost (e-Dams-Renault) collided with Nick Heidfeld (Venturi) in spectacular fashion, eliminating both cars.

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Franck Montagny (Andretti) and Sam Bird (Virgin) came in second and third respectively.

Heidfeld was uninjured, proving the strength and safety of the Formula E Spark-Renault chassis, and Prost was handed a ten-place grid penalty for the next race in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on November 22, for causing the accident.

Brazilian di Grassi was later spotted on the podium celebrating his win wearing a TAG Heuer Carrera 1887.

Stéphane Linder, chief executive officer of TAG Heuer, said: “TAG Heuer has always been ahead of its time, always attracted by firsts. Formula E is the major innovation in this sport of the last 10 years. Motor racing has been a part of TAG Heuer’s DNA since the very beginning. It is only natural that it would become a founding partner of the first fully electric championship. The first race in Beijing is a dream come true and the first step to a new era.”

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