If people cannot get to Canal Walk they can still watch via the live streaming video on the website.

South Africans can show their support of Cape Speed, the country’s first Formula Student team, who will be racing at Silverstone in England this weekend, by powering a real-time Scalextric race track, an exact replica of the Silverstone circuit, via social networks with their tweets or Facebook likes.

Starting today, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology team, Cape Speed, will be competing in Europe’s premier educational motorsport competition, where they will pit the car they built against 110 teams from around the world.

CPUT’s communications spokesperson Niven Maree said: “South Africans can pledge their support and race their own formula car around a Scalextric Silverstone track via social media networks.

“The Scalextric race will be powered by each tweet or Facebook like.”

“It will also allow people to take part in a real-life digital racing competition where they will be able to program their own laps using the different Scalextric race sectors.”

Creative group head Alan Cronje explained: “Each Facebook like or message of support with #capespeed powers the car around the miniature live Silverstone track, which will be sety up at Canal Walk from 13-15 July, allowing everybody the opportunity to see their car racing for real.

“Fans can show their support with a like on Facebook a tweet of support, and each message of support will power the car.”


The 300-piece circuit is 16 metres long and covers 12 square metres.

“Custom-built software with a server on the circuit allows the #capespeed hash tag or Facebook ‘like’ to power the lap and the car to continue moving.”

The second phase allows people to program their own lap times and compete against others.

Cronje said: “We needed an idea that would generate maximum talkability across social networks and garner support for the team before they leave as well as to involve public participation.

“There’s something quite special about sending a tweet and seeing it affect the car almost immediately.”

He said the great thing about the combination of the virtual and real-life ciscuits was that if people couldn’t get to Canal Walk they could still watch via the live streaming video on the website.

“There are great daily prizes as incentive for people to get involved as well as a grand prize for the fastest programmed laps.” - Sapa

Follow the team on Twitter: #[email protected]