Formula E is coming to Long Beach next year

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Formula 5000. Formula One. Champ Car. IndyCar. And now, Formula E.

A new chapter in the venerable racing history of Long Beach, California will be written next year with the first-ever Long Beach ePrix, featuring the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship.

The race will take place on April 4, 2015 and feature a 1.6-mile course that uses seven turns of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach circuit, including its signature hairpin corner.

Interestingly, the famous blast down the Shoreline Drive main straight will be interrupted as cars will take a quick right on South Pine Avenue before flicking left to resume the more familiar configuration.

Jim Michaelian, president/CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (which runs the TGPLB), is happy to have Formula E use his race’s infrastructure according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

“We look forward to it,” Michaelian said. “I think it’s a neat concept and it says a lot about where some aspects of motor racing is going.”

The Long Beach ePrix will run less than two weeks before the TGPLB, which is set for April 17-19, 2015.

According to the series, Long Beach was chosen to host F-E because of “its commitment to sustainable mobility and long-running success hosting large scale sporting events and high-visibility special events.”

The series’ release also made sure to note that California is the top market for plug-in electric vehicles in the country, which certainly goes well with F-E’s environmental stance.

“They all share our passion for not only motorsport but for promoting sustainable mobility, and I have every confidence that the people of Long Beach and Southern California are going to experience a revolutionary, and of course very exciting, new racing event come April 2015,” Formula E Holdings CEO Alejandro Agag said.

“The goal of Formula E is to showcase the true potential of electric vehicles and to inspire people to believe in these cars for their own personal use.”

F-E gets its inaugural season underway Sept. 13 in Beijing.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.