The action will be broadcast live, with graphics showing speed and rider heartbeats alongside the action, designed to be seen easily while streaming on a phone. As well as aiming at a younger audience than traditional racing, the series is also hoping to develop a new generation of eSkootr riders by developing a low-cost ‘grassroots’ scooter and regional championships.
“Anybody coming from any background would be able to become a professional athlete on eSkootr,” said Di Grassi. “To make money make a living without having to bring millions of dollars to become a professional racing driver, as we see in motor sport today. We want to create a network of people doing local championships, national championships and creating the most participative sport in motor sport history that people can join.
“The good guys will move up and the teams will pick them up and there will be prize money they can make a living out of.”
This year’s inaugural championship will have six rounds in Europe and America, with plans to expand it for 2023, and to launch a feeder programme for children and teenagers to race locally at venues like kart circuits.
The series’ backer is unknown but it was founded by former A1GP driver Khalil Beshir along with Sarkissian, Di Grassi and Wurz.
At a press conference to launch the championship today, they said that data from the series would help develop better safety equipment for riders, and improve electric scooter technology. They also plan to test ways of incorporating electric scooters onto public roads safely.
“For us it’s an opportunity and an obligation to use racing actually to help the micro mobility sector,” said Wurz. “So this is super exciting. We can have here a very holistic approach to sport, to education, to micro mobility.
“Micro mobility is something which is unfolding in all of our cities around the world. It’s at times a bit problematic because it’s not properly legislated. It has, at times a negative image but this is exactly like the car industry was at the very beginning.
“Two weeks [after the London race] we are going to a city in Switzerland, Sion. In the old town we have very narrow sections and normally we can’t race through here. If we have narrow or dangerous sections, we will apply speed limits controlled by GPS or what we call crowd control: if the scooter sees a very busy, very narrow space it automatically slows down without the rider being involved.
“This technology can be perfect for the city, so when we walk and someone comes from behind, we are not surprised at them swooshing past at 40 or 50km/h. [Instead] the scooter starts to make a little bit of noise so we are warned and is actually doing 10 or 15km/h.”
Tickets for the London race on May 14 are now on sale at official.esc.live