China has successfully launched an all-electric car racing series with the launch of the China Electric Touring Car Challenge by Formula Racing Development Company, or FRD. This was the first electric SUV motorsports event ever to take place in China and was sponsored by Giti Tires who also provided all of the tires for the event.
The SUV’s used were all completely electric-run and this particular challenge was the primary event at the EV1 New Energy Motorsports Festival. Electric vehicles seem to be taking the world by storm, now finding their way into the racing world. Motorsports are now taking the lead from manufacturers who are listening to consumer needs and developing more vehicles that run on green energy. Sponsors of this event have publicly supported the increase in green manufacturing as well.
The China Electric Touring Car Challenge was originally meant to debut sometime in October of 2018 but was postponed. It finally took place on May 18th and 19th of this year, 2019. In April, the racing car used by the series was finally announced, naming the NIO ES8 SUV as the series vehicle.
This race was just one of a series proposed to take place in future months. Its success has seemingly led to a future calendar of other events. For this race, there were a total of 12 cars that were prepared and ready to go for the event, along with drivers who had strong experience. In the race, 10 cars were used with very experienced drivers at each wheel, all of whom were actively vying for the coveted top spot.
Most notably, this event served as an opportunity to include the NIO ES8 SUV and provide an opportunity for drivers and teams to try out the new, highly anticipated car in a brand-new venue. The design of the SUV is incredibly sleek and stylish and now was the time to showcase its performance, which was long-awaited and anticipated.
The circuit included quick braking and hard- turning corners for extra action. It also had a midfield that was quite technical and a solid mix of straightaways. The mixture on the course was a great test not only for the drivers but more importantly for the ES8 itself, where it was hoped it would make a good impression. The mix of a new vehicle and event provided some great heart-stopping action.
After the qualifying race, there were set to be two races of 20 minutes each, which proved to bring out some competitiveness from the drivers, though all 10 of them seemed to have no interest in making any contact. Despite not wanting to make contact, the spirit was there, with several fights up and down the field, creating an even more action-packed atmosphere.
The ES8 SUV
The design of this SUV was known to be particularly sleek, with an attractive and powerful look. This race, however, was the new ES8 SUV’s formal debut and it did not disappoint. The new vehicle is a four-door sport utility vehicle that offers 480 powerful kilowatts and a torque of 840Nm. The vehicle boasts a top speed that exceeds 200kph and it can reach half of that in an impressive time of just over four seconds. This SUV is powerful, and it took the drivers some time to recognize the kind of performance they could get from it. Once they did, the race was on and they made it a good one.
The race included Qualifying, Race 1 and Race 2. The qualifying round had Thomas Leung holding on to the pole position and had a lap of sub- 1:20 lap. He stole first place from Paul Poon by a very slim four tenths of one second and there were only only 35 one thousandths between Poon and Paul Ho, who was in third place.
In the big debut, Oliver Lee was another big name in the race, as he worked his way through the field from the fourth row all the way to second. He stayed right behind the winner of the first race, Pail Poon, for quite some time. He did slightly better in race number 2, which included 15 laps completely uninterrupted. Kenny Chun used those added miles to his advantage and closed to being within just 2.3 seconds of the leader of the race but far enough away from the battle that would take place for third place. That battle was between Thomas Leung, Kenneth Ma and Stephen Lee. Paul Ip took the sixth spot.
First Round Results
Race 1 winner was Pail Poon. Oliver Lee came in second with Leung finishing in third. Oliver Lee was then the winner of race #2.
The NIO ES8 SUV was met with great enthusiasm following the race and has been touted a huge success in its debut. That success was recognized not only by the FRD and the car’s manufacturer but also by the teams. FDR’s Kenneth Ma, who also competed in the race, has since stated that there will be a complete calendar released shortly given the overwhelming success of the event.
Used on the new ES8 vehicles were specially designed GitiComplete tires in 275/35R22 size. In addition, Giti branding was present on all of the vehicles. The design of the vehicles suits the Giti mission quite well, as the company has remained steadfast in its commitment to environmental protection and green production, as well as its investment in alternative energy electric cars and SUVs, with a particular emphasis on highly efficient tires.
While Giti has a network that spans a far and wide distance, the Giti Tire Group continues its strong presence in the world of motorsports specifically. In addition, the focus on green production as well as community events and efforts remain a primary focal point for the company. With steadfast investment in environmental efforts, Giti Tire Group continues its emphasis on green production, an example of which is its sponsorship of the China Electric Touring Challenge.