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The roar of powerful racing engines arrowing down Beach Road, Mouille Point, is unlikely to happen any time soon.
But some form of ‘green’ motor racing might happen in Cape Town, judging from the reaction to certain proposals discussed at the city’s portfolio committee on tourism, events and marketing last week.
The committee appears to have shut the door on any possibility of hosting mainstream motorsport events, whether at Cape Town Stadium or in the potentially spectacular streets around it.
Two proposals of 11 put forward by private individuals or organisations were favourably mentioned, but the very character of motorsport, particularly the noise and perceived costs associated with it, seemed to turn off the committee members.
Their attitude seemed to motivate Igshaan Amlay, arguably the man with the most ambitious plan – to host a Formula One Grand Prix in the stadium precinct – to vow to go over their heads to national minister of sport Fikile Mbalula.
On Wednesday, however, the mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, Grant Pascoe, denied that any doors had been closed.
“There are these proposals, and our officials put them to us for discussion, as the city does not really yet have a policy for dealing with this kind of thing.
“The portfolio committee discussed the proposals, and opinions were raised. It turned out mainly to be a discussion around costs. We also discovered that we had a real interest in the green technology proposals in which electric cars or the hydrogen proposal could feature.
“After we discussed the proposals, we decided to refer the proposals back to the officials for an independent cost analysis to determine which would be viable,” Pascoe said.
But he did say the Cape Town Stadium and the areas around it could not be considered appropriate for the hosting of a motorsport event, considering the noise and the lengthy disruption to traffic it would require.
“Apart from the noise and the effect it would have on the community in the area, we also have to consider the new infrastructure we had recently put in place at great expense. To change it again to suit a Formula One race or any other motor race might be just too costly,” he said.
When asked whether he thought the so-called “green” events would attract enough public interest, he said he realised that this could be limited.
One such green proposal is for an electric car race at Athlone Stadium, and another requiring the use of on-board hydrogen to produce electricity.
There has also been a proposal for students to take part in an event for which they would be required to build their own cars.
Other proposals included a monster truck show inside the stadium similar to popular truck shows held in the US. - Cape Argus