Ad Diriyah: Jewel of the Kingdom now home to the Middle East’s first Formula E race

1 / 5
Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
2 / 5
Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
3 / 5
Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
4 / 5
Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
5 / 5
Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
Updated 29 November 2018
0

Ad Diriyah: Jewel of the Kingdom now home to the Middle East’s first Formula E race

JEDDAH: Blocks of mud-brick buildings and short streets look like a mosaic of beiges and browns from a distance. The cool houses were once a shelter from the heat of the desert. Now, the historic area is a hub of urban life and a collection of outdoor museums curated at the At-Turaif Unesco world heritage site. 

Showing so much of the nation’s rich history, the historic area of Ad Diriyah on the outskirts of Riyadh is about to play host to an event that is a promise of the future.

The historic town will be the extraordinary setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month.

Since the inception of motor racing as a sport, race locales have been as important as the race itself, attracting the world’s finest and most sophisticated auto enthusiasts,” Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of Ad Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said.

“Formula E in Ad Diriyah is a continuation of that tradition, offering fans a chance to enjoy the sport while accessing the best in hospitality, culture and community.”

Inzerillo said the partnership with Formula E is indicative of the Kingdom’s mission to deliver world-class hospitality and share unforgettable experiences - in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030.

Ad Diriyah is one of few global historical sites to join the suite of prominent destinations populating the electric motorsport circuit. 

Inzerillo added that as the Kingdom continues to embrace new technologies, develop renewable energy sources and invest in electrified mobility, hosting the Formula E race at Ad Diriyah represents the essence of Saudi Arabia – a gateway connecting the past and the future and a space for preservation, innovation and togetherness. 

Known as The Home of Kings and Heroes and just minutes from Riyadh, Ad Diriyah ushers in an era of E-racing in the Middle East by hosting Season 5’s inaugural ABB FIA Formula E Championship race on Dec. 15, 2018.

Located just minutes from Riyadh, Ad Diriyah is on the banks of the Wadi Hanifah, surrounded by lush agricultural lands. As communities grew in Wadi Hanifah, Ad Diriyah developed into a central gathering point in the Najd Region.


Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

Updated 10 December 2018
0

Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

  • ABB FIA Formula E Championship listens to fans by pitting Gen2 car and Felipe Massa in race against a peregrine falcon in Saudi Arabia
  • Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon

RIYADH: Formula E driver Felipe Massa behind the wheel of a Gen2 racing car has gone up against a peregrine falcon in a straight fight in Saudi Arabia to outrun the fastest animal on the planet.

It’s not the first time the fully-electric Formula E car has been pitted against a member of the animal kingdom, with reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne racing a cheetah on the Western Cape of South Africa last year.

Narrowly edging out the fastest land mammal in 2017, Formula E fans asked for a re-match — but this time together with more stern competition. Listening to the feedback of fans on social media, it was the turn of the peregrine falcon, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph) when diving through the skies above Saudi Arabia.

Massa was in the Kingdom ahead of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix, which will see the racing legend line-up on the Formula E starting grid for the first time on December 15 at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site on the outskirts of Riyadh.

For the battle of man and machine vs the natural world, the winged predator was trained to set its sights on a different kind of prey roaming through the desert — with a lure attached to the roll hoop of the advanced new-look Gen2 car.

Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon. But did he manage to shake off his opponent?

To watch Felipe and the falcon in flying formation, visit — https://youtu.be/ERxeaV60_7g

Felipe Massa, VENTURI Formula E Team driver, said: “It was an incredible experience for me to race against the fastest member of the animal kingdom — it’s not something I will forget in a hurry. I like the fact that this idea came from the fans, and Formula E listened and accepted the challenge.

“The footage from the drive is very special and it was a privilege to take part. I’m looking forward to returning to Ad Diriyah and to start racing. It’ll be my first race in Formula E and I’m eager to get behind the wheel again. I’ve missed racing and this series has shown to be one of the most competitive out there.”

The 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix is the opening round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship and the competitive debut of the Gen2 car and VENTURI Formula E Team driver Felipe Massa.

As well as Formula E action, exciting fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions, plus unique dining and retail experiences will be awaiting ticketholders at Ad Diriyah, across three days, starting December 13.

That evening, December 13, will see Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo kick off the first of three incredible nights of music concerts for fans. The following day, December 14, Arab music legend Amr Diab and globally-renowned pop band Black Eyed Peas will delight the audience. And, on December 15, race day, following the exhilarating 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix, US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will bring the event to an electrifying finale.

Only fans holding tickets will be able to access the entire Ad Diriyah site, including all the action, fun, and thrilling complimentary concerts.

Tickets are on sale at http://fiaformulae.com/Ad-Diriyah and are also available at Point of Sale units at Riyadh Park Mall, Oud Square and Doos Carting (only Grandstand tickets from Doos) and Seven Car Lounge.