It’s time for a little bit of trivia.
What do Grace Kelly, the fastest car in the world, Ed Begley, Jr., a quarter of a million dollars and 19th-century American inventor Joseph Henry all have in common?
The 2015 Monaco ePrix all-electric race.
The Monaco ePrix is an all-electric car race and part of the regular Formula E (all-electric) race season. The Monaco ePrix takes place on the Circuit de Monaco, which is commonly referred to as simply “Monte Carlo” as much of it is inside of the Monte Carlo neighborhood of the Principality of Monaco.
The Circuit de Monaco is the same circuit that the traditional-engine Monaco Grand Prix is raced on. The first year of the Monaco Grand Prix was 1929. That year, the winner received a prize of 100,000 French francs, a prize which, after being exchanged for dollars and adjusted for inflation, would be roughly equivalent to a quarter of a million dollars today.
Of the 16 cars that began the race in 1929, half of them were built by Ettore Bugatti. Bugatti’s company was eventually sold to Volkswagen, and “Bugatti” is now a marque of that manufacturer. The Bugatti Veyron hypercar currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s fastest production car.
Many Americans associate Monaco with American film star Grace Kelly, who was the Princess consort of Monaco, being the wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco from 1956 until her death in 1982.
The all-electric ePrix that is conducted on the Monte Carlo circuit features the latest innovations in high-performance electric automotive technologies. Electric car motors run on direct current (DC) electricity. The first DC motor to be built and demonstrated was the creation of American inventor Joseph Henry in 1832.
Today, electric cars are gaining ground, and increasing their market share – a trend that is likely to continue. However, the first serious attempt in recent years to field an electric car for normal use among the American buying public was General Motors’ EV-1, patronized and championed by none other than American actor, funnyman, environmentalist and all-around good guy, Ed Begley, Jr.
And there you have it.
This year, two weeks after the Monaco ePrix, the traditional engine Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix will take place on the Monte Carlo circuit, being the sixth race of the 2014-2015 Formula 1 season. However, this weekend, the fifth race of the season, called the Gran Premio de España Pirelli 2015, will happen at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, culminating in the championship race on Sunday afternoon.
How do we know so much about it, you ask? Well, you see, Santander is pretty big into Formula 1, and this one is going to play out on their home turf. You might say that we’re fans.
Good luck this weekend to all the teams and drivers for both the ePrix in Monaco and the Gran Premio in Spain. See you at the checkered flag.