Cape Town GP picking up speed?
London - South Africa could return to the Formula 1 calendar "within two years" as Bernie Ecclestone hints that a Cape Town GP is "weeks away" from getting the green light... at least from him.
Wheels24 reported earlier in 2011 that Formula 1 boss Ecclestone hinted at a South African Grand Prix and that a proposed Cape Town circuit was outlined.
Now it seems that plans for SA return to the Grand Prix calendar has picked up speed as Ecclestone stated on local radio station 567 Cape Talk that the country could see a local race "within the next two years".
According to the 567 radio segment, Ecclestone stated that "as soon as we get a contract in place, which we're working on now, then it will go quite quickly from there I hope. Within the next two years (in Cape Town).
As far as details about the circuit were concerned, the Formula 1 supremo was reluctant to provide any except to state that it would be held in Cape Town.
SA F1 RETURN
Ecclestone hopes for Formula 1 to return to SA; the most recent race was at Kylami back in 1993. The first South African Formula 1 race was held in 1962 (East London) before moving to the Kyalami circuit with a total of 23 Grands Prix held between 1962 and 1993.
He commented on the radio segment: "It would be good to get back again. When we were there things were very well for us, where everybody was happy being in South Africa. so let's hope we can get back again.
As to how close the F1 deal is to getting the green light, Ecclestone commented that although he was keen to get the circuit approved, the FIA would still need to look over the race contract for approval.
'HOPE WE CAN GET THIS DONE'
"Yes, I'm hoping we can get this done. As soon as our laywers can look at them (contracts), within the next couple of weeks"
With that it seems Cape Town has a definite chance of hosting its own Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Wheels24 drove and videoed the proposed "round-the houses" circuit in the Green Point/World Cup stadium earlier this year and came back to the office with a view discordant to that of others who saw the track as possible. Much work would have to be done to achieve a Monaco GP status - resurfacing, widening, removng electricity boxes and road signs, just for a start...
Below is our clip on the proposed Cape Town route: