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  • Writer's pictureIan McLaren

Cape Town Formula E track layout revealed

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

Including a backdrop of Signal Hill and the Cape Town Stadium.

South African motorsport fans are in for a treat as the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is set to take to the streets of Cape Town in early 2023.

While the final calendar for what will be the ninth season of this ground-breaking series has yet to be finalised, EVLiving can confirm that Southern Africa’s first live taste of this exciting, all-electric racing championship has been pencilled in for February 2023. Further to this, the proposed track layout for the Cape Town leg of the 2022/2023 season has been announced.

Measuring just less than 3 kilometres in length, the start/finish line will be sited on Vlei Rd, running behind the refurbished Green Point stadium’s grandstand. Facing Signal Hill, the grid will race towards Green Point before negotiating Turn 1, a sharp left-hander that will see them merge with Helen Suzman Boulevard in the direction of the CBD, while fast approaching the large traffic circle. Taking the first exit out of the circle, the cars will head towards the V&A Waterfront, negotiating a chicane in the form of the small traffic circle on Granger Bay Boulevard. Another sharp left turn onto Beach Road will present the drivers with the opportunity of a long straight and possibly a flat-out left-hand kink past the Radisson Blu Hotel at Granger Bay, before having to scrub speed to negotiate another left turn into Fritz Sonnenberg Road. Heading towards the Cape Town Stadium, the drivers will have a final overtaking opportunity as they turn right into the start/finish straight, once more. The pit lane area will be accommodated within the parking area of the stadium.

Formula E tracks average between 2.5 km and 3.0 km in length, meaning the driver's need to manage their car's energy levels to race for 45 minutes, followed by one more lap once the lead car crosses the start/finish line.

More good news for fans and curious onlookers alike is that the Cape Town event will be one of the first in the calendar to feature Formula E’s all-new Gen 3 cars. Touted as a massive step forward in terms of both efficiency and performance compared with the Gen 2 cars competing in this year’s championship, the new racer will for the first time incorporate a front-mounted powertrain unit to supplement the main, rear-mounted electric motor. With the batteries set to be supplied by Williams Advanced Engineering and specifically engineered tyres from Hankook, the 350 kW Gen 3 will be able to harness 40% of the energy required for a 45-minutes-long race via regenerative braking.

100% carbon neural and all-but silent in their running, the unique advantage that Formula E enjoys compared with traditional forms of motorsport is that it can be accommodated within the confines of some of the most popular cities in the world, including New York, London, Paris and now Cape Town. What’s more, the entire event is self-sustainable, including the use bio-fuel-powered generators to charge batteries and a mandate to leave as negligible a footprint on each host venue as possible.

“The public has been crying out for an open-wheel, street-circuit race and we are now answering those cries,” says Iain Banner, Chairman, race promoter e-Movement (Pty) Ltd. “With Table Mountain as the backdrop and Robben Island in the foreground, I have no doubt the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will garner substantial support in Cape Town and throughout South Africa.”

e-Movement (Pty) Ltd has secured the rights to the event for five years, starting in 2023.

“We believe that hosting the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Cape Town will showcase Africa as a role player in the transition to a greener future and will position the city and the Western Cape as the pioneering renewable energy hub of South Africa,” said Banner.

Because of its role as host city, the City of Cape Town has committed to track upgrades to the precinct that will allow the race to take place annually. Construction begins in April and is set to be completed by December 2022.

Under the banner of, “Racing and Reach”, besides offering exciting on-track entertainment, the mandate of Formula E is to promote and educate towards an altogether more sustainable future. Encouraged to arrive via public transport, all 35 000 spectators to the Cape Town event will enjoy easy access to an accompanying week-long E-Fest, as well as the teams, drivers and cars over the course of the race weekend.

Now, imagine if there’s a young South African driver on the grid in Cape Town…

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