WATCH: Cape leaders share their excitement as inaugural Cape Town E-Prix track route is unveiled

Published Mar 4, 2022


Cape Town - Cape leaders have shared their excitement after the proposed race track for Cape Town’s inaugural ABB FIA Formula E World Championship E-Prix was unveiled today.

The track route, subject to approval by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, will have the world's leading all-electric race cars wind their way through the Green Point and Waterfront district.

The track is predicted to be one of the fastest in the series and Cape Town will join the likes of Monaco, Mexico City, Berlin, London and New York as city centres hosting an ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race.

The Cape Town E-Prix will start at the Green Point precinct’s Vlei Road, where the field of world-class drivers will race with Signal Hill as a backdrop.

Then it’s a left turn into Helen Suzman Boulevard, and another left into Granger Bay Boulevard, presenting the racers with two sharp chicanes.

Drivers will then head along the ocean front on Mouille Point’s Beach Road, before taking a sharp left-hander into Fritz Sonnenberg Road and a final right to reach the finish line.

The track is predicted to be one of the fastest in the series and Cape Town will join the likes of Monaco, Mexico City, Berlin, London and New York as city centres hosting an ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race. Picture: FIA

Cape Town is set to become the first sub-Saharan African city to host a round of the all-electric FIA World Championship next year during the Season 9 schedule – with the full calendar and dates to be released later this year.

Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer for Formula E, said: “We’ve had a very positive response within our ecosystem of teams, drivers and sponsors about coming to Cape Town, so we are delighted that the City is joining our Season 9 calendar.

“When I first met Iain Banner [Chairman of race promoter e-Movement (Pty) Ltd] in 2019, he said that he was confident that Cape Town had the potential to be one of the top cities on our global calendar.

“This is my first visit to South Africa and having now seen the beauty of the Mother City, I feel confident that he is right.”

Iain Banner, Chairman and race promoter of e-Movement (Pty) Ltd, said: “The public has been crying out for an open-wheel, street-circuit race and we are now answering those cries.

“With Table Mountain as the backdrop and Robben Island in the foreground, I have no doubt the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will garner substantial support in Cape Town and throughout South Africa.”

E-Movement (Pty) Ltd has secured the rights to the event for five years, starting in 2023.

“We believe that hosting the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Cape Town will showcase Africa as a role player in the transition to a greener future, and will position the city and the Western Cape as the pioneering renewable energy hub of South Africa,” said Banner.

Because of its role as host city, the City of Cape Town has committed to track upgrades to the precinct that will allow the race to take place annually.

Construction begins in April and is set to be completed by December 2022.

Executive Mayor of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis said: “This exciting event has many benefits  – highlighting Cape Town as a key events and tourism destination which places us firmly on the global racing circuit, but also the need to focus on driving greener sources of energy.

“Hosting this international event will also help Cape Town create job and business opportunities for residents and entrepreneurs, and move us into the future with more opportunity for innovation and growth.”

The E-Prix will be the focal point of E-Fest, a week-long showcase of sustainability, e-mobility and renewable energy solutions.

E-Fest will incorporate an Investor Summit, which will bring together people and organisations to financially support the transition to a green economy, and an e-Mobility Festival, which will showcase e-mobility solutions and their role in building a green economy.

The City of Cape Town added that much work has been put in over the last two and a half years to meet all of the requirements for the hosting of an event of this magnitude.

“In early 2018, a consortium, E-Movement, that was interested in bringing Formula E to Cape Town, approached the City of Cape Town for support. Following lengthy discussions, a decision was made to undertake a feasibility study to determine whether it would be viable to host the event in Cape Town.

“After this initial phase, it was recommended to City council on 19 August 2021. Council then subsequently approved the funds required for the road upgrades in the Green Point Precinct, where the Formula E is set to take place.

“The upgrades, which will cost approximately R44 million, will provide a long-term benefit to residents and reduce the need for future budget allocation to perform routine maintenance and upgrades.”

The civil engineering works required to realise the track layout is being funded through the City’s Urban Mobility Directorate, some of which had been transferred from projects that have either been completed or through savings on other projects.

Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith added that the City’s contribution in preparing for this massive event will have extensive economic benefits.

“The Mother City is raring to host another world-class international motor sporting event. Cape Town has already shown its skill in hosting major international motor sporting events such as the FIA Rallycross Championship, the Extreme Festival National Championship at Killarney, as well as the annual Drift City at the iconic Grand Parade.”

Premier Alan Winde said that he is so pleased that the Western Cape will be hosting the Formula E and E-Fest, which will be showcasing the province as the Green Economy Hub of Africa.

“This event will also be a perfect opportunity to showcase our destination as an attractive place for tourism and investment, as we focus on growing our economy and creating an enabling environment for the private sector to create jobs. I wish the organisers all the best!”

Premier Alan Winde attended the track unveiling for the 2023 Cape Town FIA Formula E race. Picture: Supplied
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and Premier Alan Winde attended the track unveiling for the 2023 Cape Town FIA Formula E race. Picture: Supplied
Premier Alan Winde. Picture: Supplied

Banner added: “I would like to thank Alberto Longo and his team for placing their confidence in us and for having worked so closely with us over the past two years.

“To Executive Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and his team, thank you for everything you have done to make the race possible on the streets of Cape Town.

“Finally, thank you to Premier Alan Winde for always believing in our vision and providing the support you do from the Western Cape Government.”

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