Cape Town ePrix organisers ‘delighted’ with inaugural Formula E race

Sacha Fenestraz of Nissan Formula E Team was on pole for the race that was eventually won by Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Sacha Fenestraz of Nissan Formula E Team was on pole for the race that was eventually won by Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Mar 2, 2023


Cape Town - Cape Town held Sub-Saharan Africa’s first ever Formula E race and it was a big success according to event promoter Iain Banner.

Months of preparation culminated as the event began on Friday afternoon with all eyes on South Africa’s Kelvin van der Linde but sadly his race weekend didn’t go according to plan after his team sustained rear suspension issues in qualifying.

However that didn’t dampen fans’ experience of the event and according to data coming out after the race, Cape Town has been the best performing leg in season nine.

Banner, who has been instrumental in securing Formula E making it’s debut in the Mother City, allowed motor sport fans to finally get a taste of what electric racing is all about.

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The event was a sell-out as 25 983 tickets were all gone days ahead of the race and Banner says they are looking at increasing that number for the next race.

“There was no wall papering going on, this was genuine demand, we were sold out by Wednesday night/Thursday, so my answer is delighted. A sell-out was what we were aiming for but I do realise that we had to build a sport. People didn’t know about Formula E to be honest, or very few did. We got it on SuperSport a while back, then on SABC, now we are on eTV, terrestrial, free to air.

“So we can really build it through the year. But we had to build this event. I always had confidence we would sell-out, others doubted we would, but we did in the end. My target for next year is 40 000 (spectators). I believe quite easily we can sell 40 000.“

Banner also mentioned they might also get an electric train of sorts to run along Helen Suzman Boulevard to move people from Gate A to Gate C but added any race track you go to in the world there is always a fair amount of walking around because of the sheer size of the area.

Meanwhile, he says they will have a full debrief of race and will be looking at ways on improving.

“For me it’s about tomorrow’s post mortem, everyone has prepared a report for their various departments. The good things take care of themselves. I don’t want to hear about the good stuff, that can come in the slow mail. I want to hear by phone or WhatsApp about the bad stuff. Fortunately there is very little bad stuff.”

“There are adjustments that are required, for example we had sufficient food and beverages in our fan areas but we didn’t have enough distribution points, so we need more local vendors. We want to support local business and I am looking forward to us expanding on the hospitality offering.“

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The provisional calender for the new season is usually published around mid-May while those dates will be confirmed in late October. Banner says he expects that the Mother City will be hosting another race in 2024.

“I am very optimistic that we will find Cape Town, for the first time, on the provisional calender because last year we were not.“