Thursday 23 April 2015

Q&A with Igshaan Amlay: Bidding to host Formula One Grand Prix in South Africa.

Formula One could return to South Africa as early as 2017.
Images - Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa

The Cape Town Grand Prix Bid Company was established in April 2007 after an eight year research and planning process initiated in 1999 by the CEO, Igshaan Amlay. 

Slipstream SA talks to the CEO of Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa, Igshaan Amlay.

Q: What is the aim of Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa?

Igshaan Amlay: Our aim is to bring the Formula 1 Grand Prix to the people of Cape Town & South Africa 

Q: How do you plan to achieve this ‘aim’? 

IA: We are currently engaging with various stakeholders to find common ground in our bid to make it a reality.

Q: Why should Cape Town host a Formula One Grand Prix?

IA: We (Cape Town) have the biggest motorsport following on the African continent. We as a host city have so much to offer.

Q: What would the benefits be of hosting a Grand Prix in Cape Town?

IA: The benefits are enormous if you look at the magnitude of this type of mega event. It will have a direct impact on the Tourism Sector, hospitality sector to name but a few. It is also an opportunity to showcase our natural tourist sites as backdrops i.e Robben Island, V & A Waterfront, Table Mountain, Signal Hill and of course the Cape Town Stadium.

Q: There are talks of Anthony Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone getting involved in bringing the Grand Prix to South Africa. What are their roles? 

IA: CTGPSA are currently in direct communication with Mr Ecclestone regarding our proposal and he is currently waiting on feedback from us regarding the support from Stakeholders.

Q: Do you think it is financially viable to host a Grand Prix in South Africa? 

IA: We have come out of hosting a successful 2010 SWC which left us with infrastructure which we would piggy back from. Thus not reinventing the wheel. Yes, there will be costs involved but CTGPSA strategy is clear, "We are looking at foreign investors to make this a reality." 

The  Formula One street circuit will make use of the
Green Point Sport Precinct and the Green Point Stadium.
Images - Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa

Q: Is Cape Town or South Africa ready to host a Formula One Grand Prix?

IA: Once we get the buy-in from the important stakeholders then we can get the ball rolling and get all the necessary studies done. The outcome will dictate whether it would be feasible or not. Yes, i believe Cape Town is ready to host any major event with the buy-in from the right people.

Q: Will the proposed circuit use the Cape Town Stadium?

IA: Yes, the idea of going through the stadium is to make it affordable for the people to attend this prestiges event as well as the full utilisation of the Cape Town Stadium and surrounds. We call the area "Our African Riviera".

Q: Minister Fikile Mbalula said: ‘we should have a Grand Prix in South Africa’ how is he supporting the proposal?

IA: Once we have all the support locally can we then focus on National Government.

Q: If the Cape Town Grand Prix SA company is successful in the bid. How many years do you foresee Cape Town hosting a Grand Prix?

IA: We are hoping to sign a 5 to 10 year agreement to make this an annual event.

Q: When is the proposed year that South Africa could potential return on the Formula One calendar?

IA: If all goes well we are considering 2017/2018.

Q: What economic benefits would there be for South Africa in the long run?

IA: It will introduce a new business sector (motorsport) to our country.

Q: Are the residents residing in the precinct of the proposed circuit supportive of having a Grand Prix in their area?

IA: Yes, we have the support of the ratepayers in the area and surrounds.

Q: Where can the general public go to find more information about the Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa?

IA: They can email us or visit our website: or follow us on twitter - @capetown_f1 and/or  Facebook - Cape Town Grand Prix SA & Bidding to bring the Formula 1 Grand Prix to Cape Town

I would like to thank Mr Igshaan Amlay - CEO & Founder of Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa for taking the time out to answer a few questions.

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