Cape Town FE circuit to be built around FIFA World Cup stadium

An inaugural Cape Town E-Prix that ‘ticks every box’ for Formula E will race around the city’s 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium between the Robben Island and Table Mountain landmarks. 

The South African capital will make its debut on February 26, 2022 subject to the COVID-19 situation in the country, which is currently enduring a fourth wave. 

A Formula E bid has been led by the e-Movement consortium, which gained support from Jaguar of South Africa, and first declared its intention to a host a race in March 2020. 

In what is believed to be a five-year deal that runs in partnership with the South African Tourism board, Cape Town will be the exclusive host unless in the extremely unlikely event that the country agrees to host a second round of the championship. 

Asked why Formula E had added the city to its calendar, series co-founder and chief championship officer Alberto Longo said: “South Africa basically ticks the box of every single thing that we need in order to host a race.  

“We want to go to iconic venues that you can really identify very quickly in one shot on TV. 

“[Cape Town] really offers us one of the best and most amazing locations that we're ever going to do a race at.  

“Then the passion of South African heritage of motorsport, they just love motorsport.  

“It's a place where every serious and professional motorsport series has to do a stage.  

E-Movement chairman Iain Banner first met with Longo two years ago to propose the bid, pitching the idea that “we may not be the wealthiest city in the world, but we're a determined city that's done a lot of international events. 

“We'd love to have Formula E on our shores, and we'd make sure that if it came, we would present a very, very high calibre race.” 

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The race will run alongside a five-day ‘E-Fest’ that will include a two-day e-mobility conference, a climate change summit and a golf tournament open to Formula E drivers and team principals.  

A proposed circuit layout is expected to be revealed imminently, however, it will not run through the 55,000-capacity Cape Town Stadium as originally planned.  

Banner explained that the 2010 FIFA World Cup host venue has a 5.3-metre access gate into the stadium, but a seven-metre space was required to run a section of track. 

He added: “We’re not able to do that. We'll look at it in the future. But it's a big structural issue.  

“We will be racing around the stadium, and between Table Mountain and Robben Island.  

“It's an exciting ocean-bracing racing track.” 

A Cape Town E-Prix will mark the first FIA World Championship single-seater event to be hosted in the nation since the 1993 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, which was won by Alain Prost from pole.  

World Rallycross also ran its season finale for three years - from 2017 to 2019 - at the Killarney venue in north Cape Town.  

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