Thursday 19 January 2023

Construction work complete, as Cape Town prepares for inaugural E-Prix.

AUTHOR: Franco Theron
CO-AUTHOR: Junaid Samodien

South Africa will soon host the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the inaugural Cape Town E-Prix set to take place on 25 February 2023. 

Hosting an international event comes with a number of strict requirements, but when it comes to motorsport or a Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) sanctioned event there are a lot more requirements, or items to check off your list, including circuit design, facility upgrades (to cater to the championship), and more. 

Recently, the City of Cape Town undertook an extensive road widening and resurfacing project around the Green Point Precinct (the proposed circuit), which included the installation of removable kerbs, and the creation of "the fastest corner on the current Formula E calendar (turn 12)".

We visited the Green Point area to take a detailed look at the Cape Town E-Prix circuit to record and capture all the changes, and upgrades made before the event (images available below).

Mexico City E-Prix
Avalanche Andretti Formula E team driver Jake Dennis claimed victory at the Mexico City E-Prix last weekend in a dominant fashion, the championship will then head to Saudi Arabia and India, before it heads to the most southern point of the Southern hemisphere (Cape Town).

With just over a month to the Cape Town E-Prix, let's take a closer look at the circuit. The 12-turn, 2.94km circuit will be fast-flowing and an incredibly competitive circuit. It will most surely test the higher top speeds of the new Gen3 Formula E race cars. A total of 11 teams and 22 drivers will race around this circuit.

MAP SUPPLIED BY: e-Movement/Cape Town ePrix.
The circuit will start on Vlei road, which has been resurfaced with a red oxide pigment surface, with all construction work done by, Amandla Construction. This has replaced the previous bricked surface, which included several speedbumps. The same red oxide pigment surface has been placed within the pitlane, which will extend from turn 11 (Vlei road), behind the Green Point hospitality village, and rejoining again after turn 3.

Left - The bricked surface at turn 11.
Right - Resurfaced red oxide tarmac at turn 11
PHOTO CREDIT: Slipstream SA and D
On our circuit inspection last month, we noticed that the tarmac from turn 11 to turn 1, including the full length of the pitlane was red, and quite grippy. We asked the Cape Town ePrix event organisers, to which they replied: "the red is actually a very simple thing. We wanted to maintain the original colour scheme of the ground in that area. So the red was kept red because that's how it looked before the upgrades were done."

Let's continue with the circuit layout, shall we... From Vlei road, all competitors will turn left onto Helen Suzman Boulevard. The turns 2, 3 and turns 4, 5, 6 have also been resurfaced and widened. Turn 7 will see another left-hand turn, where competitors will turn onto the Beach road, which will take them around two more left-hand sweeping turns before turn 10, which will take teams onto Vlei road once again. Drivers will then keep there foot down racing towards the tight left-hander of turn 11 before quickly changing direction to the very quick turn 12, and across the line.

NOTE: The Cape Town E-Prix circuit fly over contains the initial circuit concept, and not the FIA approved layout. However, you can get the concept and idea of the circuit by watching the video.
CREDIT: e-Movement/Cape Town ePrix organisers.

While taking place relatively early in the 16-round championship, which is set to finish on 30 July (London), the Cape Town E-Prix is set to not only be one of the fastest races, but also one of the most beautiful. With Table Mountain and the Cape Town soccer stadium as a backdrop, the summery weather of the of this Atlantic Ocean city will play a perfect host to the championship.

Would you like to attend this landmark event? Well! Limited tickets are still available for the inaugural Cape Town E-Prix, which start from R995 to R3 450. Get your tickets right now to avoid disappointment - here 

                             A look around the Cape Town ePrix circuit with it's surface and corner upgrades.

CREDIT: Junaid Samodien/Franco Theron

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