AutoMatters & More: Formula E VISA Vegas eRace & Monster Power

Formula E VISA Vegas eRace

The racing was electric at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as some of the best drivers in worldwide motorsports squared off against some of the world’s best racing simulator (SIM) drivers, head-to-head for a share of one million dollars in prize money in what was billed as “The Biggest SIM Race of All Time!”

To qualify, SIM drivers competed online in “The Road to Vegas Championship” (for the rules see Their competitors were each other, as well as drivers from the FIA Formula E Championship Series for electric racecars. Four qualifying races were run on iconic, virtual street tracks, designed by Cloud Sport, in historic Formula E venues: Long Beach, Paris, Berlin and London (sadly, Long Beach is no longer on the Formula E calendar).

VISA Vegas eRace course
VISA Vegas eRace course (Jan Wagner / C 2017 Jan R. Wagner, AutoMatt)

The 80 finalists with the fastest lap times in practice advanced to the semi-finals. From these, the top five who emerged victorious from the semi-finals at each venue advanced to the supervised final, where points were allocated based upon how well they finished.

SIM driver Graham Carroll from the UK won the Long Beach final (highlights video at, Greger Huttu won Paris (, Olli Pahkala won Berlin ( and, finally, Enzo Bonito won London, after failing to start in Berlin ( Thanks to his win, he bounced back from 14th in the Championship to secure one of the coveted top ten spots, earning an invitation to compete in the Formula E VISA Vegas eRace at CES2017. As you can see in the highlights video from each race (which includes commentary), the virtual racing was very exciting and looked similar to actual Formula E races – realistic tracks and all.

Monster Power & Charging Station - Large
Monster Power & Charging Station - Large (Jan Wagner / C 2017 Jan R. Wagner, AutoMatt)

It all came down to this one final race, where the drivers met each other in person at the Venetian Hotel. The day before I had an opportunity to drive some hot laps around the virtual Las Vegas track in one of the simulators and had a blast. Then on race day, in front of a packed audience and under the watchful eyes of FIA President Jean Todt and Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E, Dutch SIM driver Bono Huis beat his fellow SIM racers and the four Formula E racers in the top ten to claim the first place trophy – and a whopping $200,000 in prize money (

Formula E will return to the U.S. on July 15th and 16th at the inaugural New York City ePrix, on a street circuit in Brooklyn.

Monster Wall Tap Charger
Monster Wall Tap Charger (Jan Wagner / C 2017 Jan R. Wagner, AutoMatt)

Monster Power

Early in his company’s 36-year history, Head Monster Noel Lee learned that the quality of the cables influenced hi-fi sound. That discovery led to Monster’s reputation for premium audio cables. Monster has continued to innovate, with over 500 patents and 100 patents pending worldwide, leading to the development of speakers, power management products, headphones and more – for music, home entertainment, computing, mobile and gaming, These are showcased at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The “Monster Home” Collection from Monster Power combines form and function in elegant, high-tech aluminum power and charging stations. They feature AC and USB quick charging. Attractive, solid, powerful and safe, there are three models suitable for tabletop and desktop use, and one that is a wall tap.

Superstar Diana Ross headlining Monster concert during CES2009
Superstar Diana Ross headlining Monster concert during CES2009 (Jan Wagner / C 2015 Jan R. Wagner, AutoMatt)

The “Monster Power and Charging Station - Large” features four USB ports and four AC outlets, combined with a night light, and a built-in cell phone and tablet stand. This stand enables you to conveniently watch video on your device while it charges. More than just a surge protector, it filters power to address interference that can affect your TV picture and sound. It protects through device detection and fireproof MOV technology, and includes a $750,000 connected equipment warranty. For more information, visit

Brand new from Monster, the brushed aluminum “Wall Tap Charger” also features a built-in cell phone and tablet stand. Along with four AC outlets and three USB ports, it features “Rapid + Safe Charging,” “Power Filtration,” “Fireproof MOV” and a $750,000 connected equipment warranty.

Music has always played a major role in Monster’s DNA. Headliners at the annual Monster Retailer Awards concert during CES have included Diana Ross, John Legend, the Steve Miller Band, George Benson and Al Jarreau, Chicago, Alicia Keys, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Wonder.

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Copyright © 2017 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #479