Cape Town could host Formula E races

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 9 June 2019

South Africa could be home to Formula One motorsport once more, with Cape Town a favourable city for hosting the street circuit grand prix.

Formula E is a class of motorsport governed and regulated by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), just like the Formula One World Championship (F1), but greener, as it involves only electric racing vehicles.

Last Sunday 2 June, Red Bull took to the streets of Cape Town for a driving circuit demonstration with the British F1 former driving legend David Coulthard. This was very well received and tens of thousands of motoring and F1 fanatics came out to show their support and catch Coulthard in the Red Bull RB7 racing car.

Formula E was developed in 2011, so if Cape Town were to host a stage in the championship competition, it would form part of a series of established international motor events.

Currently, 12 other countries host the ‘ePrix’, including Marrakesh, Rome, Santiago and Monaco. Eleven teams compete with two drivers per team, including the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, BMW i Andretti Motorsport and DS Techeetah Formlula E Team.

Recently, the City of Cape Town (COCT) was approached by a consortium keen to host a ABB FIA Formula E Championship stage in the Mother City.

‘Our job as the City of Cape Town is to ensure we create an environment that enables the growth of events,’ said Mayor Dan Plato at a media briefing on the Formula E offer on Wednesday 5 June. ‘We want to establish Cape Town as a city of Motorsport in Africa… Why not? Cape Town has already shown it has the capabilities of hosting motorsporting events.’

While hosting an ePrix would entail road closures and some commotion, electric vehicles are a lot quieter than their conventional Formula One counterparts.

Registered bid company Cape Town Grand Prix SA has been trying to organise a Formula One Grand Prix event in Cape Town for over 10 years.

The COCT plans to gauge the interest in hosting such an event and will try to engage citizens on the matter before accepting the bid. South Africa has hosted motorsports events in the past, from the Formula One Championship and A1 Grand Prix to the MotoGP for motorbike racing.

Image: ABB Formula E via Facebook

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