Motorsport News South Africa

Formula E confirmed for Cape Town in 2023

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (Fia) has confirmed Cape Town as a host city for Round 5 of the 2023 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The race will be held on Saturday 25 February, two weeks after the teams tackle the streets of Hyderabad, India.
Formula E confirmed for Cape Town in 2023

Through eight seasons, to date, Formula E has established itself as a pinnacle motorsport event that hosts some of the best single-seat drivers in the world in cars designed and engineered to showcase the potential of e-mobility.

With ex-Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne having claimed the 2022 driver’s championship at the Seoul event in August, next year’s Season 9 running of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is set to be that much more enticing thanks to the introduction of an all-new, faster-than-ever Gen3 race car.

Though Vandoorne’s Mercedes-EQ racing team has subsequently bid farewell to the series, exciting news ahead of Season 9 sees the confirmed presence on the grid of legendary names likes of McLaren Motorsport, Maserati, Penske and Andretti. Porsche, Mahindra and Jaguar will continue their respective efforts into 2023, with the return of founding team ABT also noteworthy.

While the official confirmation of the Cape Town event is obviously welcome news, scheduled maintenance on the proposed track layout (including surface and safety upgrades) ahead of the race is already well underway – and set to be completed by mid-December.

As a reminder, the street circuit will feature a start/finish line sited behind the refurbished Green Point athletics stadium. Driver’s will then negotiate an anti-clockwise route around the iconic Cape Town Stadium, including a fast sweep past Granger Bay and likely prime overtaking opportunity at the left turn onto Fritz Sonnenberg Road. The track is set to be just short of 3kms in length.

The zero-emissions race weekend will form part of a 10-day themed festival of events designed to showcase the potential of e-mobility, both from a global and South African point-of-view. This will include an EVRT Africa all-electric vehicle road trip across South Africa, an e-mobility festival featuring all things electric; EVs, motorcycles, bicycles, scooters and charging solutions, as well as an invitational golf tournament. The festival will also host Africa’s Green Global Summit.

Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer of Formula, said: “We are excited to announce Cape Town as a new destination for our series in Season 9. Our local partners are working incredibly hard to bring an ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race to the city and we cannot wait to see the futuristic Gen3 race cars competing against the iconic natural backdrop of Table Mountain.”

Iain Banner, the chairman of race promoters e-Movement, said: “Great things are created by great people. And Formula E coming to Cape Town is a great thing. After three years of planning and navigating Covid-19, Formula E Cape Town is a reality.”

“When we started this journey, I said to Alberto that I was confident we could deliver a flagship race on the FE Calendar. Mainly because of the enthusiasm of a South African audience, Cape Town’s natural beauty and an exciting track that will be ready mid-December. That manifestation is something I remain confident about,” continues Banner.

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said, “The City of Cape Town views Formula E as a key event that could go a long way in cementing Cape Town’s position among the most progressive cities in the world. The Western Cape already has a strong green economy ecosystem which we have worked hard to cultivate, and the E-Prix, along with the African Green Economy Summit, will only serve to strengthen and grow this sector. We are committed to working with e-Movement to ensure that Cape Town delivers a spectacular event early next year.”

As a reminder, the Formula E circuit travels to each destination with its own biofuel-powered energy solutions, thereby not reliant on the relatively stability of a host cities electricity grid in order to keep racing.

Ticketing information for the first Cape Town E-Prix will be released in time.

Read more about EVs in South Africa here.

About Ian McLaren

A motoring journalist for more than 20-years, Ian McLaren is keeping a keen eye on the advent of electric-mobility in South Africa
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