Vancouver ePrix – Potential Circuit Layouts?
With the Canadian city of Vancouver set to join the Formula E calendar in 2022, I designed some potential circuits around the city.
On Wednesday 28th April, Vancouver City Council voted 9-1 in favour of hosting a Formula E race from 2022 onwards, in a bid to “support recovery of the gutted tourism sector”.
The motion submitted to the city council read, “affirming support for a Formula E world championship event including a conference focusing on climate change and sustainability, musical and cultural event and the Canadian round of an electric vehicle race.
“The City of Vancouver has been approached by OSS Group, a private Canadian promoter of the Formula E World Championship, to host a two-day Creative Business Conference focused on climate and sustainability, two music concerts, and a one-day electric vehicle race in False Creek in July 2022, that would generate significant economic benefit to the city and support recovery of the gutted tourism sector.”
Chief Executive Officer of OSS Group Matthew Carter has said he hopes the Vancouver ePrix will become the “jewel” in the Formula E calendar.
The Vancouver ePrix would mark a return to Canada for Formula E for the first time since the Season 3 finale at Montreal in 2017, which hosted a double header that saw Lucas di Grassi crowned champion.
2017 Montreal ePrix // Image credit: e-racing.net
On May 13th, it was revealed that Formula E is expected to announce 4 new races for 2022, alongside 3 returning races previously dropped due to the pandemic, with Vancouver set to be joined by the Dutch city of Eindhoven, with the previously cancelled Seoul and Jakarta ePrix set to finally make their debut appearances.
Meanwhile, Santiago, Sanya and Paris are all set to return in 2022, having been cancelled in both 2020 and 2021.
With Vancouver set to join the calendar, I decided to have a look at how a circuit could look around the West Coast city, and came up with these 6 layouts, with all bar one around the proposed region of False Creek:
Circuit Design 1
The first layout lies just North East of the BC Place Stadium, measuring at 3.07km. The start straight lies along West and East Hastings Street and is 739m long. Turn 2 is a 90 right into Main Street, heading directly south before another 90 right onto Keefer Street.
A slight kink to the left past The Keefer Bar follows before a more open left hander taking the cars onto Quebec Street. As the cars pass under the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaduct, they will tackle a tricky corner, braking while turning through Turn 6 into the 90 right of Turn 7 onto Pacific Boulevard.
A flat left follows, with Attack Mode being situated on the outside of the bend, and the finish line being at the end of the straight before Turn 9. Pit entry is just before, with the pitlane in the carpark, and pit exit spitting you out at Turn 9.
Back under the viaduct for a blast North up Abbott Street before an acute right hander by the International Village Mall onto Keefer Place. A 90 left follows at Turn 11 onto Carrall Street, before a short run to a more open left hander onto West Pender Street.
The penultimate corner is a 90 right onto Cambie Street, before the final corner being a hairpin right back onto West Hastings Street, followed by a small kink to straighten up the circuit.
Circuit Design 2
The second layout utilises the roads around the BC Place Stadium, and comes in at 3.10km. The start and finish line lie in the same location at the end of Turn 18, with the grid lining up through T18 on Pacific Boulevard. The chicane at the first corner is implemented to slow the cars down before the circuit narrows with the slip road onto Cambie Street Bridge. The cars stay right along Pacific Boulevard, through a flat right, before a 90 right onto Cambie Street.
A slight kink follows, before another 90 right onto Smithe Street. A tricky braking zone for the hairpin of Turn 7 follows, before a fast section of sweepers though the tunnel by the stadium, giving the circuit a Monaco-esque feel. The circuit remains on Expo Boulevard’s sweepers until the end of the lap – two 90 rights making a double-apex hairpin, with Attack Mode on the inside between the two apexes.
The pitlane is in the same carpark as the first layout, with pit entry just before Turn 18 and the pit exit just before Turn 1.
Circuit Design 3
The third layout lies to the west of BC Place Stadium, at 3.01km. The start straight lies on Nelson Street, heading North West onto Granville Street with a 90 left. A sequence of 90 degree corners open the lap with another 90 left taking you onto Davie Street, past Emery Barnes Park, and a 90 right onto Homer Street.
The road bends to the left while you brake for a 90 left onto Pacific Boulevard, with pit entry being on the left just before the corner. The blast down the boulevard is cut short by an open right onto Davie Street and down to the harbour. The finish line lies just after Turn 6.
The circuit takes the left side of the roundabout, while Attack Mode is uniquely situated on the right hand side, taking you the long way around the roundabout. A scenic route down Marinaside Cresent follows, before it winds under Cambie Street Bridge.
A 90 right takes you onto Expo Boulevard, but an open left takes you away from the stadium tunnel and onto Smithe Street. Two 90 degree corners around the Miniversity takes you back onto the start straight on Nelson Street.
The pitlane cuts out the entire habourside section of circuit, with pit entry at Turn 4 and pit exit at Turn 12 to ensure length and room for all the garages.
Circuit Design 4
The fourth layout is slightly further West of the BC Place Stadium, coming in at a shorter 2.64km. The start-finish straight lies on the North lane of the Pacific Boulevard, with the pitlane in the South lane. Turn 1 sees the cars brake while turning into a 90 left onto Homer Street, where the road narrows as it heads to the waterside.
The circuit follows the road around the complex, winding past George Wainborn Park before a short run up Richards Street that takes the circuit back onto Pacific Street. Turns 8-10 are a unique sequence – a tight hairpin right takes you onto a narrow, steep uphill slip road that comes out on Granville Street.
A hairpin right follows before a long wide straight up Granville Street, followed by a 90 right onto Helmcken Street, before quickly switching back to the left onto Seymour Street. A 90 right onto Nelson Street follows, with Attack Mode on the outside of the corner, before an open right takes you onto Cambie Street, and an even faster right back onto the start-finish straight, with pit entry on the left.
Circuit Design 5
At 2.91km, the fifth circuit moves to the South of False Creek, just South of Granville Island. The start straight is unique situated on Highway 99, on the downhill run from Granville Bridge. Turn 1 is a 90 left onto West 6th Avenue, followed by an acute hairpin left into West 4th Avenue.
A fast left past Granville Loop Park follows as the circuit goes under the start straight, before a 90 left onto Fir Street at Turn 4.
Turn 5 lies just before a slip road onto the bridge – a 90 right with pit entry going straight on around the slip road. The pitlane runs down along West Broadway before rejoining at Turn 6. The finish line lies just after Turn 5 and pit entry.
Turn 7 takes the circuit back onto West 4th Avenue. A tight chicane at Pine Street is implemented to slow speeds on the entry to the uphill narrow slip road, that winds its way up to the final corner, a hairpin on Granville Bridge that brings the cars back onto the start straight, with Attack Mode being on the inside of the exit of the hairpin.
Circuit Design 6
My final design is further South of the proposed False Creek region, but the fast winding roads of Queen Elizabeth Park was too tempting to ignore. At 4.61km, it is by far the longest Formula E circuit, a whopping 1.2km longer than the Beijing Olympic Green Circuit used for the championship’s inaugural race in 2014.
The start straight lies on Midlothian Avenue, alongside the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club. Turn 1 is a 90 right that takes the circuit into the park. The kink of Turn 2 sees pit entry, likewise the kink of Turn 3 sees pit exit, with the pitlane winding through the carpark and surrounding roads. As a result, the finish line is situated between Turns 2 and 3.
The circuit winds uphill through the woodland, with the fast Turn 4 followed by a right-left chicane that takes the circuit out of the park onto Cambie Street. The circuit then heads South, before taking a 90 left onto West 33rd Avenue back into the park.
The next complex takes the circuit through a carpark, before a blast down to a second carpark that follows a roundabout. Attack Mode is situated on the left just after the exit of the roundabout, before heading south onto West 37th Avenue.
The circuit heads West onto Cambie Street, before heading North all the way to West 29th Avenue, with just a chicane at West 35th Avenue to slow speeds.
A relatively open right hander leads the cars back onto West 29th Avenue, that turns into Midlothian Avenue after the flat-out right hander that finishes the lap.
And those are my circuit designs for the Vancouver ePrix. I hope you enjoyed the article and feel free to let me know what you think of my designs in the comments!