2018-19 Formula E Season Preview

The fifth ABB FIA Formula E Championship season kicks off this weekend with the Ad Diriyah ePrix, around the streets of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There will be 12 more races between now and July 2019 when the season ends in New York City.

The Cars

This season sees the introduction of the “Gen2” car, the Spark SRT05e, which ups the power output (25% more in qualifying and 10% more during the race) and finally allows the drivers to complete the race distance without the stupid car swaps during pit-stops. They also look WAY cooler!

Formula E Gen 2 car
Formula E Gen 2 car

The Races

Another change for this year is that all races will run for 45 minutes, plus one lap. This could make for some exciting finishes as teams will not know for sure how many laps will be run and drivers will need to be even more mindful of their remaining energy store.

As well as the popular “Fan Boost”, where fans vote to give their favorite driver some extra power, this year sees the introduction of  “Attack Mode” which is full on Mario Kart! The driver goes off the racing line in a designated area and is rewarded with a temporary 25kW engine boost.

  1. Ad Diriyah ePrix, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – December 15th 2018
  2. Marrakesh ePrix, Moulay El Hassan, Morocco – January 12th 2019
  3. Santiago ePrix, Higgins Park, Chile – January 26th 2019
  4. Mexico City ePrix, Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico – February 16th 2019
  5. Hong Kong ePrix, Hong Kong Harbourfront – March 10th 2019
  6. Sanya ePrix, Sanya, China – March 23rd 2019
  7. Rome ePrix, Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR, Italy – April 13th 2019
  8. Paris ePrix, Circuit des Invalides, France – April 27th 2019
  9. Monaco ePrix, Circuit de Monaco – May 11th 2019
  10. Berlin ePrix, Tempelhof Airport, Germany – May 25th 2019
  11. Bern ePrix, Bern, Switzerland – June 22nd 2019
  12. New York City ePrix 1, Brooklyn, USA – July 13th 2019
  13. New York City ePrix 2, Brooklyn, USA – July 14th 2019

The Teams

Manufacturers are embracing Formula E with the number of teams increasing for the 2018-19 season, with HWA joining before becoming the Mercedes works team in season six. BMW now partners Andretti Motorsport and Nissan takes over the Renault entry. Porsche will also be joining, fielding a works team in the 2019-2020 season.

The Drivers

Reigning champion Jean-Éric Vergne defends his title against a field of talented drivers. Notable names joining the driver ranks this season include former F1 pilots, Stoffel Vandoorne, Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein, as well as 2018 DTM champion, Gary Paffett.




# / Drivers

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Spark-Audi Audi eTron #11 Lucas Di Grassi
#66 Daniel Abt
BMW i Andretti Motorsport Spark-BMW BMW #27 Alexander Sims
#28 António Félix da Costa
DS Techeetah Formula E Team Spark-DS Automobiles DS ETense #25 Jean-Éric Vergne
#36 André Lotterer
Envision Virgin Racing Spark-Audi Audi eTron #2 Sam Bird
#4  Robin Frijns
Geox Dragon Spark-Penske Penske #6 Maximilian Günther
#7 José María López
HWA Racelab Spark-Venturi Venturi #5 Stoffel Vandoorne
#17 Gary Paffett
Mahindra Racing Spark-Mahindra Mahindra #64 Jérôme d’Ambrosio
#94 Felix Rosenqvist (Riyadh only)
#94  Pascal Wehrlein
NIO Formula E Team Spark-NIO NIO Sport #8 Tom Dillmann
#16 Oliver Turvey
Nissan e.dams Spark-Nissan Nissan #22 Oliver Rowland
#23 Sébastien Buemi
Panasonic Jaguar Racing Spark-Jaguar Jaguar #3 Nelson Piquet Jr.
#20 Mitch Evans
Venturi Formula E Team Spark-Venturi Venturi #19 Felipe Massa
#48 Edoardo Mortara

In the United States, you can watch Formula E on the Fox Sports network and in the UK on BT Sport ESPN, as well as on the Formula E YouTube channel.

Look for more updates on the Formula E season over the coming months.



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Local Band Spotlight: Filibuster

Filibuster was founded in Sacramento, California in the early 1990s. Playing a unique blend of ska, rocksteady and Northern Soul, mixed with turntables and hip-hop influences. Though the line up was at times a revolving door of players, the band stayed true to their street music roots throughout their existence, earning them a loyal following.

They started touring the West Coast in their beloved school bus, “Belle”, back in 1995 and didn’t stop through eight national and two European tours, the latter with the venerable band, The Skatalites.

The band’s signature “Streetsteady” sound became an influence for many other bands and musicians but there were several casualties along the way. Guitarist Curt Cottrell quit the band after battling alcohol abuse for many years, with his departure prompted by a disastrous appearance on Italian television.

Despite all the touring Filibuster found time to record three albums:

Their self-released debut, “New Ruler and the King”, was recorded in Sacramento and released in 1995.

Filibuster's, "new ruler & the king"

The band signed with Long Beach, California label Skunk Records (home of Sublime) and released their second album, “The Means…” in 1997 via it’s subsidiary label, Cornerstone R.A.S. (and had Belle on the cover).

Filibuster's album, "The Means..."

Filibuster hit “the big time” when Skunk Records sent the band to Electrical Audio studios in Chicago to record with legendary producer/engineer, Steve Albini. The resulting album, “Deadly Hi-fi”, was released in 1999.

Filibuster's, "Deadly Hi-fi"

No other studio recordings were made but the constant touring continued and it finally wore the members down, with the group finally disbanding in 2003.

Where Are They Now?

A couple of the members went into the culinary arts with Jason “Chinbone” Boggs, vocalist and saxophonist, now co-owning several Sacramento area restaurants and bars, including The Shady Lady Saloon, while DJ Rob Venditti, AKA Rob Rossi, became executive chef at Pangaea Bier Cafe, also in Sacramento.

Trumpeter/vocalist Kenny “Papa Scully” Beasly is still playing locally, leading the Sacto Storytellers reggae/dub band, while bassist Ben McClara is President, Artistic Director & Founder of Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy.

Help Document Further

If you’d enjoy knowing more about the local music scene in your town or sharing the knowledge you already have, consider helping us at Local Bands Wiki – the site for all those beloved local bands not considered “famous enough” to get a page on Wikipedia.

– Editor Simon

Local Bands Wiki

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MCZ Earworm: Tim Tucker “Waterfall”

Six Nine Records, based in Newcastle, England are a small company specializing in funk and soul, releasing limited edition 7-inch vinyl 45s of independent artists from around the world.  Their latest release is from the vastly experienced California singer, Tim Tucker.

"Waterfall" Limited Edition 45rpm vinyl
“Waterfall” Limited Edition 45rpm vinyl

Tucker delivers silky, smooth vocals over a super tight backing track that’s bound to get late night motors running. Written and produced by the American, this is his second release on Six Nine following, “Ain’t That a Groove Thang U&I”, earlier in 2018. That track also featured vocalist, Daniel Wiley, who has collaborated on many of Tim Tucker’s projects.

Here’s an excerpt from the new track, “Waterfall”.

You can get a digital download or one of the limited edition 45s (while they last) direct from Six Nine Records website.

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