Cape Town Grand Prix SA ‘surprised’ by Formula E announcement

Cape Town – It’s been a week of ambivalence for Cape Town Grand Prix SA (CTGPSA).

The week started out on a high note for CTGPSA when Cape Town experienced the exhilarating power of the Red Bull RB7 Formula One racing car on Sunday during the Red Bull Cape Town Circuit. 

The event was a sure demonstration of the integrated potential that our bid offers, to bring an annual Formula One Grand Prix™ and Formula E Grand Prix™ to a street circuit in Cape Town. 

The event drew a crowd of nearly 50 000 people. 

According to CTGPSA it is estimated that the dedicated fans who follow the teams globally throughout the season alone amount to approximately 50 000. 

David Coulthard proclaimed Cape Town as the perfect city for Formula One street racing. One media report reflected the heart of CTGPSA, and we are sure multitudes of others, with the question, “Why, oh why does Cape Town not have an F1 street race on the annual calendar?”

With the City of Cape Town’s support, CTGPSA can make it happen!






Red Bull RB7 Formula One racing car on Sunday during the Red Bull Cape Town Circuit. Video: Courtney Africa/African News Agency

In 2015, Formula One Management (FOM) was prepared to meet with us on the basis of support from the then Mayor of Cape Town to discuss and hopefully agree a way forward, but the support has not been forthcoming.

"On that note, CTGPSA was very “surprised” by the announcement made at the Wednesday, 5 June 2019 press conference by Mayor Dan Plato and Councillor JP Smith that they support a consortium bringing Formula E to Cape Town," said Igshaan Amlay, CTGPSA CEO. 

"This, after CTGPSA already having presented our intentions to bring both Formula E and Formula One Grand Prix to a street circuit in Cape Town.

"We made it known that we had investors lined up who were prepared to fund all social, economic, environmental, and related impact studies, but all we needed was the City’s support/endorsement – which was never forthcoming. In light of this public announcement of support for a consortium to bring Formula E to Cape Town, and impending feasibility study supported by the City, we are concerned that we have not been included in the process to be afforded a fair opportunity," Amlay said.

In 2017, CTGPSA received an official letter of support from the Western Cape Government’s Director of Sport Promotion, Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport to host the Formula One Grand Prix™ Series on a street circuit in Cape Town. 

In 2018, CTGPSA received an official letter of endorsement from the Western Cape Government’s Provincial Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport to host Formula E Grand Prix™ on a street circuit in Cape Town.






Red Bull RB7 Formula One racing car on Sunday during the Red Bull Cape Town Circuit. Video: Courtney Africa/African News Agency

Cape Town Grand Prix SA (PTY) Ltd is a registered bid company founded in 2007 to host the Formula One Grand Prix™ on a street circuit in the Green Point Sport Tourism Precinct in Cape Town, South Africa. CTGPSA has been in the running for 12 years, and having gone through various phases, yet remains the only viable bid standing.

"Unlike other major sporting events that come around every 5 years or even once in a lifetime, Formula One Grand Prix™ offers an annual economic injection and social upliftment. The annual international event will include pre-to-post events and offers a significant opportunity for sustainable job creation, as well as to build community," Amlay said. 

"It also offers a platform for skills transfer and development programmes. The very skills that are needed by each Formula One team to make every race happen – driving, engineering, strategy, mechanics, technical, public relations, communications, social media, physical training, etc. – will be transferred to our local people. Our heart is to not only stage a world-class motor racing event, but to see Africa equipped with world-class skills. The event will strategically benefit government, local business and the local community – generating growth in tourism and creating business opportunities whilst redeveloping the Motorsport Business sector, and generating significant media impact."

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Red bull Cape Town Circuit in Darling street. Formula 1 retired driver David Coulthard on track as he did three laps to entertain the race fans. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
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Formula 1 retired driver David Coulthard with the mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato at the City Hall in Cape Town. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

They are ordinary Capetonians who work regular 9 – 5 jobs with a big dream and lots of passion for making the impossible happen. 

“We have built this bid on honesty and integrity and our vision is to leave a lasting legacy that has been pioneered by the people, for the people,” says Amlay.

CTGPSA said that they have thus far reached a number of important milestones, including support from the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport; support from Motorsport South Africa; and local and international support from potential partners and F1 enthusiasts.

"To continue with our bid, and to advance our opportunity to succeed in this bid, an estimated USD of 3 million is required. The USA-based Liberty Media, which now controls F1, have indicated that they have the appetite for challenging new circuits, and South Africa remains a favourable destination," CTGPSA said.

They added they are looking forward to picking up the conversation with Mayor Dan Plato as after receiving Cllr Smith’s encouragement for “all the organisers to continue with the work you are doing to position Cape Town as the events destination of choice. And I want you to know that the City is here to back you up and that we’re listening and that when you have ideas, we will respond.”

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Formula 1 retired driver David Coulthard on Red Bull race track as he did three laps to entertain the fans of this sport. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Argus

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