A new global motorsport series for electric cars has been announced, and South Africa is taking centre stage in its development.
Announced at an event in Johannesburg on Monday night, just ahead of the BRICS summit, the Elite World Cup is the brainchild of a consortium led by Tokyo Sexwale, Liu Yu and Stephen Watson.
The racing series, billed as the first electric hypercar World Cup, will see various nations competing for glory in Lotus Evijas, and the intention is to stage the first championship between September 2024 and March 2025, deliberately falling outside of the traditional racing season.
It also aims to attract accomplished drivers from around the globe, as co-founder Stephen Watson explains:
“The Cup is called Elite for a reason as we will engage and invite experienced international racing car drivers that have competed across F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, WRC and the likes,” Watson said.
“We want the drivers and teams who have established themselves and represented their countries in various prestigious motorsport championships around the world.”
Teams will compete in a series of eight to 10 World Cup race weekends, which will take place in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. Organisers have yet to announce which race circuits will feature in the series.
As mentioned, the preferred hypercar of the event is the Lotus Evija, which is one of the most powerful electric cars in the world. It has four electric motors, one for each wheel, producing a collective 1500kW and it can sprint to 100km/h in less than three seconds and top 300km/h in under 10.
The Elite World Cup wants to stand as a beacon of change, as the industry transitions to electric power. By fostering competition, collaboration, and breakthroughs in electric vehicle technology, this series aims to drive advancements that have far-reaching implications for the automotive industry and beyond.
“We have run Team China in many prestigious racing championships since we first started racing internationally in 2004,” said co-founder Liu Yu. “The automotive landscape has evolved significantly, and as the electric car industry is growing rapidly in China, we’re excited and proud to be at the forefront of this Elite revolution in sports”.
At the reveal event at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, the founders received a special message from Emerson Fittipaldi, two times F1 World Champion and Indy 500 winner.
Fittipaldi, who had been attending a motorsport gathering hosted by Lotus as part of the Monterey car week in Los Angeles, sent a video note saying: “What an exciting time, the beginning, the foundation of the Elite World Cup, with these modern full electric cars, this is the future. What an idea to have the GT World Cup for country racing against country. I hope I will have the Brazilian team, for sure I am going to have the Brazilian team!”
You can follow the series on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter using the @eliteworldcup handle.