Motorsport enthusiasts are expected to flock to the city next year when Cape Town host a round of the electric Formula E championship in February.
This comes following an announcement on Wednesday that the city would be joining India’s Hyderabad and Brazil’s Sao Paulo as three new venues on a 2023 calendar.
The 25 February race will be Formula E’s debut in South Africa and the fifth of 17 rounds next season.
The city-based championship, the start of a new Gen3 era with faster, more efficient and lighter cars, starts in Mexico City in January.
Formula E said renovation works to Seoul’s Olympic Stadium meant it could no longer be used as a venue and Formula E was exploring other locations in South Korea for a 20 May race.
The provisional calendar had envisaged two races in the South Korean capital, which hosted this year’s season-ending ePrix.
Indonesia will have two June races in Jakarta, which made its debut this year with double-header weekends also in Saudi Arabia (Diriyah) in January, Berlin in April and Rome and London in July.
The venue for round 13 on 24 June was still to be confirmed.
In early 2018, a consortium, E-Movement, that was interested in bringing Formula E to Cape Town, approached the City of Cape Town for support. Following lengthy discussions, a decision was made to undertake a feasibility study to determine whether it would be viable to host the event in Cape Town.
After this initial phase, it was recommended to Council on 19 August 2021. Council then subsequently approved the funds required for the road upgrades in the Green Point Precinct, where the Formula E is set to take place.
The upgrades, which will cost approximately R44 million, will provide a long-term benefit to residents and reduce the need for future budget allocation to perform routine maintenance and upgrades.
The civil engineering works required to realize the track layout is being funded through the City’s Urban Mobility Directorate, some of which had been transferred from projects that have either been completed or through savings on other projects.
With Formula E’s cars running on 100 percent renewable energy and a major focus on developing alternative energy solutions, staging Formula E in Cape Town will assist the City in raising awareness of the adverse effects of air pollution.
The event will also include local communities and schools to educate them about electric cars, how they can contribute to a sustainable future of mobility and the impact of reducing inner-city air pollution.
Photo: City of Cape Town