Last year when the FIA race series visited Long Beach, California as part of its inaugural race series, it offered those who pre-registered online free tickets to attend the event. The day-long event, which included plenty of entertainment on and off track, consequently attracted plenty of large crowds eager to see the single-seat electric car race series for the first time.
Many, who took advantage of the free tickets, became firm Formula E race fans, following the rest of the season’s race calendar with great enthusiasm, a sign that Formula E’s free ticket offer was both a marketing success and a great way to captivate a new, enthusiastic audience in a sport normally known for its high ticket prices.
This year, when Formula E returns to Long Beach on April 2, those in attendence will need to pay upwards of $25 per ticket ($20 concessions), meaning a family of four could spend upwards of $100 on the day’s entertainment to attend before they’ve even considered paying for refreshments or merchandise. But if you’re a BMW i3 electric car, BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car or BMW X540e plug-in hybrid owner, you could gain complimentary entry to the 100% electric race car series simply by donating your time (and your car) to a world-record attempt being made on the same Long Beach race track ahead of the official race.
As the BMW Car Club of America announced yesterday on its website, BMW of North America and the Southern California BMW i Owners Group will attempt to set a new world record for the “Largest Parade of BMW Cars” on the morning April 2. In exchange, participants will earn themselves two free grandstand tickets to the Formula E race.
Like a similar world-record set by 225 Nissan LEAFs when they paraded around a wet, overcast Silverstone race course in England, BMW’s world record attempt will involve all of the BMW plug-in cars in attendence following one another around the 2-mile Formula E race course set up in Long Beach.
The record BMW is attempting to best is one set in 2008, when a total of 178 BMW vehicles paraded one after through the sleepy Bavarian town of Rödental, Germany. Interestingly though, the parade wasn’t made up of just any BMW: it was a parade of 178 BMW Isetta microcars, tiny Italian-designed bubble cars made by BMW between 1955 and 1962.
To be eligible for this particular World Record Attempt, BMW says you’ll need to have a BMW i3 EV, BMW i3 Range-extended EV, BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car or BMW X540e plug-in hybrid SUV. And while some of the cars in attendence will have an internal combustion engine on board, we’re guessing BMW and those at Formula E would like attendees to use electric power if possible to complete the world record attempt.
Those interested in helping out will need to be able to attend at the Pike Parking Structure at the race track by 8am on race day for check in, with the parade itself starting at 9:30am. To ensure they can take part, entrants will need to bring their valid driving licenses with them to show officials, and will also need to pre-register at this BMW Events page to ensure they are accepted for the attempt. Those turning up without pre-registering or their driving licenses won’t be allowed to take part.
Attempt completed — and we hope record set — participants will then be handed two grandstand tickets compliments of BMW North America to watch the full day of Formula E action, from testing and qualifying through to the final race.
They’ll also get to see race-prepared, inductively-charging versions of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 on-track, fulfilling their duties as the official Formula E medical car and Formula E Safety car.
If you live in Southern California and are tempted to help BMW make this record attempt we’d love to hear from you: we’re hoping at least some of you will share your experiences and photographs with your friends here at Transport Evolved.
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