MSUM students Kate Sullivan, Waylon Macek and Ben LeMay made the journey to Long Beach, Ca., for the Formula ePrix race. They volunteered to help with the event and were interviewed for the Formula E website.

INSIGHT: Volunteering for Formula E

Long Beach|30 Apr 15

Motorsport inhabits a glamorous world. Fast cars, cutting-edge technology, high-end hospitality.

But for all the star-studded parties and exotic travel, the races themselves require an army of staff, working long and hard hours, to make the magic happen. At Formula E, the events wouldn’t be possible without the amazing help of the vast array of volunteers, who generously give their time in exchange to be part of the show.

volunteer_newsAs the world’s first all-electric single-seater championship, Formula E offers a unique attraction to those seeking a glimpse behind the curtain.

For students in particular, the opportunity to get hands-on experience of working on a live event of the scope and scale of a Formula E race, creates the potential to add a whole new dimension of extra-curricular activities.

There might be more than 1500 miles separating Minnesota from Long Beach, but that didn’t deter three students from one of the most northern parts of the USA heading to California to be a

part of the Long Beach ePrix.

Kate Sullivan, Waylon Macek and Ben LeMay made that journey. Through their studies of electric vehicles, they had been made aware of Formula E and its ambition to inspire electric car development and increased ownership.

Determined to be a part of it, they set about securing the funding necessary to underscore their dream.

“Once we got the planning process down and we got funding from our first student budgeting committee – that was half the amount – then it was like we are going to do this thing no matter what!” exclaims Macek.

“Because we’re a sustainability-oriented organization, we’re going to do a research project using Formula E as a case study, looking at how the electrification of the transport sector would impact energy consumption, production and emissions,” explains LeMay. “And with that in mind we wanted to come here and volunteer.”

Having arrived late on Thursday night, the three students were required to be at track early on Friday morning for their first briefing. But with all the race action taking place on Saturday, Friday presented the opportunity to learn more about the series.

“We did some interviews with Aquafuel – we got to check out the generators and talk to some of the physicists and that was amazing,” says Macek.

“That was just way beyond…” adds Sullivan. “The part that got me is how it fits in with everyday society and they were talking about how it doesn’t negatively impact any industry – it’s such a great idea. After we’d got our jobs we went around and interviewed some people from DHL, 360 degrees, Qualcomm as well as Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag.”

“We’re looking at the marketing aspect of it, sustainable practices of the event, promotion for sustainability,” LeMay concludes.

On Saturday the students took up their roles in the eVillage, helping to ensure that the thousands of guests that attended the event were looked after, were properly informed and had the best time possible. It’s a long and busy day, but they were still able to see most of the race. It was a once in a lifetime experience that left many of their fellow students green with envy.

If you are interested in volunteering for the London ePrix, which takes place in Battersea on June 27/28 please contact – volunteerslnd@fiaformulae.com