Formula E: Bold or brash with ideas of targeting youth, Twitter push-to-pass?

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Formula E is thinking outside the box for who it wants to target. The question is whether its targeted demographic will buy what it’s selling.

The FIA-sanctioned electric racing championship that is set to premiere in 2014 has selected 10-14-year-olds as its target market. Series CEO Alejandro Agag told Sports Business Daily that children need to be attracted to electric cars if they want to buy them in the future.

That’s a reasonable goal in theory, even though it will probably be anywhere from two to six years from the time these kids start watching FE to the time they’d actually be able to drive and/or purchase an electric car. And I highly doubt there are that many 16-year-olds with the disposable income with which to purchase one when they hit that magical birthday.

If that seems out of left field, it’s quite sane by comparison to another idea the series has. Push-to-pass, a feature of IndyCar racing where a driver has a button on the steering wheel to provide a temporary horsepower boost, appears headed for FE. That’s fine and dandy, but, Agag said in the same SBD report that potentially, a driver who receives the most Twitter hashtag mentions during a race could be afforded an extra push during the race.

(Temporarily pausing to ensure my head stays intact).

Anyway, the series is already off-beat enough with its odd sounding cars and plan to have drivers switch cars during the race. These ideas seem to follow that line of unconventional, new thinking.

Could it work? Possibly. We do live in an era of mostly stale, spec-car racing, and admittedly a younger audience is needed to sustain motorsport’s evolution going forward.

But at first read, these ideas seem like daft marketing ideas gone awry instead of determining a way to make eco racing “sexy” and/or “cool.”

Indy Lights: Askew wins at Gateway as Veekay’s tires wear off

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For the fourth consecutive race, Oliver Askew is an winner in Indy Lights competition, and with only four races reaming in the 2019 season, the 22-year-old Floridian is on the cusp of winning his first series championship.

After starting Saturday’s 75-lap event at World Wide Technology Raceway from the pole position, Askew was quickly passed by Rinus Veekay on the first lap. However, Askew continued to follow VeeKay closely before retaking the lead on lap 53, a lead which he would not relinquish through the checkered flag.

“I think our car was just better,” Askew told NBC Sports after winning his seventh race of the season.

“I understood that from the beginning that he [VeeKay] had more straight line speed than us, so he was more trimmed out, and I knew that he was going to lose his tires at the end, and he did.

“I just had to keep the pressure on and wait for my opportunity.”

With his victory, Askew now extends his lead over VeeKay in the point standings by 52 points.

For Veekay, who held on to finish second, the fight to remain in the title race will not be an easy one.

“I’ll try everything I can but it’s been very tough,” VeeKay said. “The team and I, we’re giving it all we have. That’s all we can do.”

Daivd Malukas finished third, while Ryan Norman and and Robert Mcgennis finished fourth and fifth, respectfully.

Dalton Kellett took the checkered flag where he started in the sixth position, and Lucas Kohl finished the race in the seventh position.

Toby Sowery finished the race in the eighth and final position after bringing out the lone caution of the race by spinning in Turn 2 on lap 12.

Indy Lights drivers and teams will now head out to the Pacific Northwest for a double header at Portland International Raceway on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results 

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