The Formula E race track in Cape Town has been unveiled and here’s how it looks

In 2023, Cape Town will host an ABB FIA Formula E World Championship event for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa and also the first major open-wheel race since 1993. Formula Electric is the fastest-growing series in motorsport and boasts the best roster in racing and for the very first time, South African petrolheads will witness the high-speed (albeit it rather quiet) thrills of this electric race in person.

Superstar drivers like Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ), Edoardo Mortara (Rokit Venturi Racing) and Pascal WehrLein (Porsche Formula E Team) will all be battling it out on the streets for a piece of the points share in the race for the driver championship.

The Mother City has already demonstrated its capabilities in hosting major international motor sporting events with the success of the FIA Rallycross Championship, the Extreme Festival National Championship (held at Killarney International Raceway), as well as the annual Drift City at the iconic Grand Parade.

With the weather sticking to the script, all roads then lead to the majestic Cape Town stadium surrounds that played host to the exclusive racetrack layout reveal. Attendees, that included a variety of local media houses, were given a brief overview of what lies ahead for 2023 and how E-Fest will sit alongside the global championship event. MC of proceedings was famed motoring presenter Ciro De Siena who welcomed the audience that included the likes of Mayor of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis, Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde and Alberto Longo, Co-founder and Chief Championship Officer, Formula E.

The course

Four BMW i3’s from the Western Cape Government transport fleet took attendees for a drive along the blueprinted track and get acquainted with the feel of electric mobility.

The race 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.

As far as structural work goes, the City of Cape Town has committed to track upgrades that will allow the race to take place annually. Construction officially begins in April and is set to be completed by December 2022. Also included as part of the racing is the E-Fest that will incorporate an Investor Summit, which will bring together people and organisations to financially support the transition to a green economy.

According to Executive Mayor Alderman Dan Plato, the race has the potential to bring in extra revenue to the Mother City.

“The City’s contribution to this race event is dwarfed in comparison to the return on investment from hosting such an established international sporting event. In the three years that Formula E has been hosted in Hong Kong, it has contributed approximately R1.5-billion to that economy. This benefits a wide range of business in the event chain including manufacturing and service industries.”

Locals love their motorsport and have long been starved – but the tide is changing ever so swiftly as the flag begins to fly high on the international stage. With that being said, it remains to be seen whether Formula 1 will return to Mzansi. Kyalami presents the best possible circuit choice to host such an event as it currently holds Grade 2 status and would need a few tweaks to get it to Grade 1.

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