Drivers will require 'some finesse' on Cape Town’s ePrix track

Jaguar TCS Racing’s driver Mitch Evans of New Zealand gestures after winning at the Jakarta Formula E circuit in the Indonesian capital. Photo: AFP

Jaguar TCS Racing’s driver Mitch Evans of New Zealand gestures after winning at the Jakarta Formula E circuit in the Indonesian capital. Photo: AFP

Published Feb 17, 2023


Cape Town – When you think of Formula E what comes to mind first? The sleek cars, the exotic track locations, or the fact the cars don’t sound like traditional racing cars?

Well, it won’t be long before you can finally make a decision on any one of these, with the Cape Town ePrix set to deliver some high-octane (minus the petrol of course) entertainment for fans in the Mother City.

These electric cars rely on technology to get around the track and it’s this electric technology that will ultimately benefit all drivers, says South African-born Jaguar Racing Team director James Barclay.

He said that in the same way motor- racing had been critical in advancing vehicle technology, Formula E plays a key role in advancing electric technology for car consumers.

“One of the objectives of Formula E is to advance sustainable human progress through the power of electric racing. The technical regulations are designed so that we focus our investment and resources on the rapid developing of electric vehicle power trains,” he said.

“So rather than aerodynamics and having cars that look different, in this generation it’s about focusing our investment on the power train. And at the event in Cape Town you’ll see the most advanced electric cars in the world.

ALSO READ: Jean-Eric Vergne is not overthinking things ahead of historic Cape Town ePrix

“This is a real technical test bed for electric vehicle technology. When you’re trying to race 22 other drivers, 11 teams, six manufacturers, all of the highest standard, you have to push the boundaries like nothing else... we are finding every area of efficiency, every area of performance to beat world-class competitors.”

So what can fans expect from the new track? Barclay is expecting a fast race and said the drivers and their teams are always motivated to perform in exotic locations and the Cape Town setting will be no different.

“I do think what we see is a really fast track; in certain locations it's sort of a combination of everything. Actually looking at the road, knowing that road network in that area, I think they have done a fantastic job of the circuit design. I do think it’s one that will definitely test the drivers commitments in the high speed corners; it’s going to require some finesse in some of the medium and lower speed sections of the track.”

ALSO READ: SA driver Kelvin van der Linde faces ‘difficult task’ in Formula E

Barclay continued: “I think it (the track) actually throws pretty much most things at the driver, but for sure when you have higher speeds that’s when the big commitment starts to come in and you really see the cars and the drivers at their optimum, performing at their best as well; so, I think it’s going to be really exciting and of course the backdrop is going to be phenomenal.

“I am biased but I think the backdrop and the location of the race is just going to be spectacular and drivers and teams rise to that challenge being in great locations, like we love, we love racing in the hottest cities, it’s just elevates everything when you’re at an incredible location as we will be in Cape Town. ”

The race is set to get underway on February 25 with a full day of action on the cards, starting with practice sessions on Saturday morning, qualifying and the race taking place at 4pm on that day.