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Rejected Cape GP: Backer speaks

2013-03-14 10:31

REJECTED CAPE GP PROSALS: Proposals for a Cape Town Grand Prix were received by city officials as far back as 2009 with a circuit planned around the then still under-construction stadium.

CAPE TOWN - In March 2013 Wheels24 reported that a Cape Town Formula 1 GP had been black-flagged as city officials claimed the cost would be prohibitive.

Tourism, events and marketing director Anton Groenewald said: "We're not in favour because of the huge cost implications for the city."

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said (and still says) he'd like Africa to host a race - as he said a couple of years ago when there was much controversy about using the then new Green Point Stadium as the pits and Wheels24 made a video of the proposed "track".


Potential race organisers, Cape Town Grand Prix SA (CTGPSA), remains positive despite the city’s rejection of its F1 proposal. Igshaan Amlay CTGPSA CEO said: “It is our resolve to remain focused. We are still very optimistic as we await the much-anticipated meeting with the national minister of sport and recreation, Fikile Mbalula,”

“This next step in our ongoing stakeholder engagement process is critical, as national government’s support will allow us to escalate talks with potential investors and to jointly structure an official bidding process.”
The group began its bid in 2005 and in 2011 held a meeting with MEC of cultural affairs and sport, Ivan Meyer, MEC for finance, economic development and tourism Alan Winde and councilor Grant Pascoe. Amlay said that attempts to engage Groenewald had proved difficult with the  CTGPSA reporting its last correspondence was in May 30 2012.


In 2012 Groenwald said: “The City of Cape Town has received a number of proposals from different forms of motor racing disciplines. Despite many attempts to resolve the matter, it was decided to put the matter to public opinion to establish industry and society’s views before formulating a decision. The primary reason was that the city had no motor racing policy (either as an event or as a sector) and the city’s current unsolicited bids policy does not cover requests of this nature.”
Groenewald stated that the city is not in favour of F1 events “because of the huge cost".

Amlay comments: “We find these statements very surprising since we are not aware of any economic impact assessment by the city to substantiate such a finding. In the absence of a motor racing policy, it is also not clear as to the criteria on which the city’s stance is based. CTGPSA have to date not requested a financial injection from the Ccty to finance our bid as we have purely been pursuing private investment.”

He claims that the City would only be required to provide its regular services as it applies to events that take place on council property.
The group established engagement with the Residents and Ratepayers’ Associations in the Green Point, Sea Point, Mouille Point and Bantry Bay areas in 2011. Amlay said that these groups were not averse to the CTGPSA’s race proposal.
Amlay said: “We are confident that Government will see the opportunity to host an annual F1 Grand Prix on our shores; to benefit not only Cape Town and the Western Cape, but the country and Africa as a whole.
“CTGPSA believe that this is an opportunity that we cannot afford to overlook without having exhausted all avenues in establishing its social; economic; and environmental viability, including a transparent public participation process.”
Read more on:    f1  |  grand prix  |  wheels24  |  formula 1  |  bernie ecclestone  |  race

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