Hong Kong Lawyer

August 2017

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78 www.hk-lawyer.org •  August 2017 Formula E Hong Kong ePrix set to Roar Back to the Heart of Hong Kong in December 2017 Interview with Kenneth Ng, President of the Hong Kong Automobile Association and Chairman of the Formula E Working Group By Cynthia G. Claytor O n 2 and 3 December 2017, Formula E, the world's premiere electric street racing series, will roar back into the Hong Kong with two full days of world-class racing. This will be the second ePrix Hong Kong will host and will kick-start Formula E's fourth season. The Hong Kong ePrix 2016 was the first time in over 30 years that the City hosted a premier motorsport event and achieved what many thought would be impossible – hosting an international open-wheel, single-seat racing event in the heart of Hong Kong. In anticipation of the Hong Kong ePrix 2017, Kenneth Ng, President of the Hong Kong Automobile Association and Chairman of the Formula E Working Group, as well as Former Law Society Council Member, speaks to Hong Kong Lawyer about his involvement in the Formula E Hong Kong ePrix 2016, the upcoming race and his hopes for e-racing in Hong Kong in the future. 1. Can you tell us how you became involved with the Hong Kong Automobile Association and the Formula E Working Group? Before I retired, I sat on committees of several NGOs, including the Hong Kong Automobile Association ("HKAA"). I have always had a passion for cars. Last year, when Formula E first came to Hong Kong, the HKAA was the technical supporter of the event and, as an HKAA General Committee member actively involved in the race preparation, I was appointed as the Chairman of the Formula E Working Group, overseeing a range of operational matters. 2. What type of work went into pulling off the first ever Formula E Hong Kong ePrix? What were some of the challenges of introducing the race in Hong Kong? Motor racing has no priority in Hong Kong as it is still perceived as a rich man's game. Against that background, it did involve a few years' effort in persuading the Government to appreciate that this is good for Hong Kong. One can imagine, and appreciate, their reluctance in endorsing something which has no precedents in Hong Kong – a street race like Monaco or, closer to home, Macau. Once we had the Tourism Commission's policy support in hand, the coordination for approvals/licenses from the various Government departments should have been all downhill. However, that is not the way it unfolded due to the lack of precedents. I am so glad that we pulled this off and in the end all of the Government departments were happy with the way the event turned out.

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