Formula One does not currently have a race on their annual calendar in Africa, making it the only continent that is not represented in motor-sport’s flagship competition. This is something that could be set to change in the coming years, if the efforts of the people at Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa come to fruition.
The company is working hard to bring an F1 race back to South African shores, and the Mother City is their target destination, with an incredible street track proposed which envisions F1 cars hurtling around the Greenpoint Sports Precinct and countless fans from around the world descending on Cape Town in order to follow the cars and drivers who bring their beloved sport to life.
With the return of Grand Prix action for the year this past weekend, AFKSports spoke to Chief Executive Officer for the Cape Town Grand Prix bid, Igshaan Amlay to discuss the possibility of F1 returning to South Africa.
Amlay: We still have a long road ahead of us where studies like Environmental Impact Assessments and Financial Impact Assessments need to be completed as well as stakeholder engagements, however, to be realistic we can look at 2017/2018 should we get the necessary buy-in from all important stakeholders.
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Amlay: There has been talk of countries like Morocco and Nigeria looking at the feasibility of hosting this prestiges event, however, Cape Town has been rated as one of the top destinations in the world, and what better place than having it on our very own “African Riviera”.
Amlay: Currently we are busy with stakeholder engagement and have received the desired support from the ratepayers within the area.
Amlay: We are planning to engage the City of Cape Town and Provincial Government in due course.
Amlay: It will definitely boost the economy as well as introduce a new visitor profile for the country.
Amlay: The Formula One Grand Prix has a global following of 50 000+ spectators who buy tickets to every race and travel with them. That is aside from your average follower.
Amlay: Cape Town has the biggest motor-sport following on the African continent and a street race with tourist attractions as natural backdrops. It is a no-brainer.
Amlay: Yes, we have been approached by investors with serious interest and are currently engaging with a potential investor who is prepared to fund from start to finish.
Amlay: We need the ongoing support from not only the people living in our country, but also from the big corporates doing business here.