Look out for a Virgin Formula E racing car at our Heathrow check in, and your chance to win a VIP trip to New York

If you’re visiting Heathrow Terminal 3 this week you can have a look round a DS Virgin Racing Formula E electric racing car. The car is on display in Zone A, so check it out while you’re checking in.

Formula E is the world’s first electric street racing series. It’s motorsport for a new generation with sustainability, entertainment, technology and innovation at its heart. The races take place on the streets of the world’s greatest cities and with top speeds in excess of 150mph the racing is fast, furious and every bit as exciting as Formula 1, only without the noise and the carbon footprint.

The series also challenges the teams to really push the boundaries of what can be achieved with electric cars. This helps evolve the technology for the benefit of all-electric vehicles. Virgin Racing is right at the forefront of this emerging sport, with their drivers and team in with a good chance of winning the championship. As the season enters its final few races the competition couldn’t be tougher.

Alex Lynn and Sam Bird with the car at Heathrow

Alex Lynn and Sam Bird with the car at Heathrow

As well as looking over the car, there’s a chance to win a trip to New York to see the final races of the year. With two races over two days in July, and the competition wide open, it’s going to be an exciting and action-packed weekend. Visit the Virgin Racing site for full details.

To be in with a chance of winning this VIP trip to New York you just need to take a selfie with the car and upload it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #DSVRSuperfan. You could be jetting off to New York with 3 nights accommodation, pit lane access, grandstand tickets and the chance to meet the drivers. It’s a unique opportunity to see this new sport up close.

LtoR Senior First Officer James Furness, (who stopped by on his way to operate the VS41 to San Francisco) Skye Hester, Alex Lynn, Sam Bird, Lauren Godwin and Nathan Donaldson.

LtoR Senior First Officer James Furness, (who stopped by on his way to operate the VS41 to San Francisco) Skye Hester, Alex Lynn, Sam Bird, Lauren Godwin and Nathan Donaldson.

The day the car was installed at Heathrow, the team’s two drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn came along to meet some of our customers and our Heathrow team. We asked them a few questions:

Sam Bird

What is the top speed of these cars? About 140-150 miles per hour, however, next year they’ll be able to go to 170-175 mph with the generation 2 car.

What is different about this car? One way this is different to F1 is that we only race on street circuits. You wouldn’t see F1 cars doing 200 miles an hour at Monaco for example, and because we race at cities around the world it is typical to see lower speeds.

Can you see a wider use of electric cars commercially? I think access to and quality of charging is picking up. Once we get to a point when cars can charge to travel 300-400 miles it could be an option for everyone.

Favourite race? We’ve both raced at Monaco and that’s always a highlight in a driver’s career. I like Hong Kong and New York. I won both races in New York last year so it’s a good race for me!

Hopes for the rest of the season? There are three races left and I’m currently second in the championship so the goal for me is to try and win the Championship. Our aim for the team is to finish strongly in the manufacturer’s race. We’re currently third and there’s still plenty to race for!

Alex Lynn

How is this different to an F1 car? The main thing to note is it is not trying to be a Formula One car. It’s a completely electric racing car, whereas Formula One is a combustion engine car. From our side, the whole ethos of Formula E is about trying to bring racing to the people. We race in city centres in some of the biggest cities in the world and it’s our responsibility to make it environmentally friendly and fun at the same time.

What is the technology? It is solely electric. It’s extremely important that we push that message. We can make electric cars exciting, fun to drive, and entertaining to watch whilst still being greener.

Why did you choose Virgin to race with? The big thing about Virgin is what we are trying to achieve as a brand, it’s a very fast-forward brand. It’s a big thing for us being British to represent a brand like Virgin, more than any other brand. 

The all electric Nissan Leaf

The all electric Nissan Leaf

Sustainability is at the core of all Virgin group businesses. They might not be able to do 150mph but our fleet of Nissan Leaf pool cars show how we’re looking right across our business to make sure we’re doing everything we can to reduce our carbon emissions. Visit our sustainability pages to find out more.

Jo Hindle

About Jo Hindle

Jo Hindle is the Senior Manager for Corporate Communications at Virgin Atlantic. That means she tells the story of the business for a living, and she’s been doing it for nearly six years now. Her Dad used to manage Exeter Airport, so she’s been close to the industry most of her life and can never get enough of aviation geekery!
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