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Countdown to ExCeL Formula E race begins

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 26 July 2019

ExCeL's head of live events Damian Norman, race director Oli McCrudden, Nissan driver Oliver Rowland and Jaguar team principal James Barclay press the button to start the one year countdown. Picture:  Malcolm Griffiths/LAT Images

ExCeL's head of live events Damian Norman, race director Oli McCrudden, Nissan driver Oliver Rowland and Jaguar team principal James Barclay press the button to start the one year countdown. Picture: Malcolm Griffiths/LAT Images

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The countdown to Formula E's arrival in the Royal Docks is on.

Nissan driver Oliver Rowland at the launch event. Picture: Malcolm Griffiths/LAT ImagesNissan driver Oliver Rowland at the launch event. Picture: Malcolm Griffiths/LAT Images

To mark a year until the electric motor racing series comes to the ExCeL, a countdown clock and a specially designed car were unveiled in the venue.

Visitors will be able to view the vehicle up close as well as watch highlights from other events around the world and find out what they can expect from the season finale.

More than 60,000 people are expected to attend the races - known as E-Prix - across the two days in July 2020.

Damian Norman, head of live events and attractions at the ExCeL, said: "Oli [McCrudden, the race director] and I have spoken for quite a long time, looking at the impact on the local community.

"It's really important that it's more than just a race."

Each day will feature practice, qualifying and race sessions, as well as a whole host of activities for fans of all ages.

These include Formula E simulators, manufacturer displays and a children's zone - plus the chance to meet the drivers at an autograph session.

The 2.4km track is unique in motorsport, going inside and outside of the ExCeL.

The track will go inside and outside of the ExCeL. Picture: Malcolm Griffiths/LAT ImagesThe track will go inside and outside of the ExCeL. Picture: Malcolm Griffiths/LAT Images

There will be elevation changes too, and Oliver Rowland, who is one of six British drivers on the grid, said that fans were likely to see some "very exciting racing".

"It's going to be extremely difficult for us, for sure you're going to see mistakes," he said.

And after a debut year that saw him finish as the top rookie, the Nissan driver feels he could do even better next season.

"I managed to get a couple of podiums and three poles," he said. "Hopefully I can build on that next year and who knows, this race next year I can hopefully be fighting for the championship."

For those unfamiliar with the series - which next year will feature 24 drivers from 12 different teams - Rowland had one piece of advice.

"Watch some races," he said. "They're all on YouTube. Then come to the ExCeL next year."

The London E-Prix takes place on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26, 2020. For more information, visit fiaformulae.com

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