F1 ROADSHOW: F1 veteran Giancarlo Fisichella does a burn-out in a Ferrari below the Old City wall in Jerusalem at the 2013 F1 Road Show. Teams returned for a 2014 re-run... Image: AFP / Gali Tibbon
JERUSALEM, Israel - The streets of Jerusalem were closed for two days (October 6/7 2014) but not for a religious ceremony... it was for the second annual Formula 1 road show.
In the non-competition showcase event cars sped alongside the wall of Jerusalem's Old City, a site that houses some of the holiest sites in Judaism, Islam and Christianity, for the second annual Jerusalem F1 Road Show.
The region's turbulent history was hard to forget, with the event pushed back several months because of this recent conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip
‘NOT GOING FAST ENOUGH’
Even the name of the race was changed from 2013, when it was called the 2013 Peace Roadshow
The atmosphere was still festive.
Ferrari, Audi and Porsche had cars displayed in a hangar near Jerusalem's former railway station while leggy models posed with cars and TV crews and avid F1 fans thronged the hall.
The show saw cars being driven at up to 240km/h on a two-kilometre track that ran past the Old City’s wall. Italian ex-F1 Giancarlo Fisichella tore up the tarmac, the burning rubber of his tyres leaving spectators in a cloud of smoke. The atmosphere was captured in a slogan: "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough."
ISRAELI MOTORSPORT STAR
Local talent was on display in the form of rising Israeli star Alon Day who races in the German GT Masters championship. He told AFP ahead of the show: “I’ll push it to the limit, I don't know about the other guys.”
Day said he hoped the event would help to boost motorsport in Israel. "It's crazy" having racing in Jerusalem, he said. "You have to realise there's been no motorsport in Israel for 50 years. This is something extremely big and will give a really big boost to Israeli motorsport.”
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, a show sponsor believed that, one day, a Grand Prix could be possible in Israel.
SUPPORT FOR BIANCHI
The thoughts of many, however, were with driver Jules Bianchi, whose horrifying crash at the 2014 Japanese GP on Sunday (Oct 5) left him fighting for his life.
Fisichella said there were no concerns over safety at the sho, especially as the event was non-competitive: "It's a road show and everything will be maximum safety.”
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