Red Bull will bring speed, sound - and maybe a couple of doughnuts - to the mother city on June 2. Picture: REUTERS
Red Bull will bring speed, sound - and maybe a couple of doughnuts - to the mother city on June 2. Picture: REUTERS

While SA is no closer to hosting a round of the Formula One Grand Prix, local fans will at least be able to see an F1 car in action when Red Bull brings its road show to Cape Town in June.

Similar to a demonstration it staged at Cape Town’s Killarney circuit in 2011, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, which won four back-to-back F1 titles between 2010 and 2013, will bring speed, sound — and maybe a couple of doughnuts — to the Mother City on June 2.

This time, however, fans will be able to see the F1 car speeding through city streets at the iconic Grand Parade, starting in front of the City Hall. The car, which accelerates from 0-100km/h in 2.4 seconds, can reach speeds well over 250km/h.

The international star driver for the Red Bull Cape Town Circuit display will be revealed in the next few months in the lead-up to the event. He will be joined by a host of yet-to-be-named SA motorsport stars.

The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing crew have taken their road show to a number of locations around the world including, Ho Chi Minh City, Marseille, Belfast and Miami.

The day will be packed with family-friendly events and entrance will be free. 

“Sure, you’ve watched a Grand Prix on TV, but there’s no substitute for the ear-splitting roar of the engine, the haze of tyre smoke and aroma of burning rubber,” says a spokesperson for the event.

More details about the Red Bull Cape Town Circuit will be released soon. In the meantime, fans can go to www.redbullcapetowncircuit.com for more details.

Meanwhile, Ferrari newcomer Charles Leclerc has played down talk of his Italian team being faster already than Formula One champions Mercedes and said he suspects rivals are hiding their true pace.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in action during testing in Barcelona. Picture: REUTERS
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in action during testing in Barcelona. Picture: REUTERS

Speaking after Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas told reporters on Thursday that Ferrari look like they are a step ahead in pre-season testing, the Monaco-based driver suggested appearances are deceptive.

“The performance has no sense for now,” the 21-year-old said on the final day of the first test at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya. “It remains testing and they are probably not pushing and we are not either.

“We don’t know how much the others are sandbagging,” he added, referring to the pretence of being weaker than is actually the case.

Bottas, teammate of five-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, had said Ferrari looked “very strong” after they lapped fastest on the first two days.

The sport’s oldest and most successful team have also covered an impressive amount of mileage in their new SF90 car while Mercedes have been working through their programme without setting any truly eye-catching times.

“No matter which kind of fuel load or engine modes they are running, whatever you try to correct that for, in any case they are quick on short runs and long runs,” said Bottas.

“I think we feel at this point they are maybe a bit ahead, but obviously it’s impossible to make detailed calculations. It is very early days. With the new rules it’s going to be a big development race.”

Bottas said the cars will be very different by the time of the Melbourne race on March 17 and Mercedes have new parts coming before then.

The Finn warned, however, that even with the upgrades Mercedes still needs to make the car better and quicker, with work to do on the balance.

Mercedes have said they intend to focus more on speed and performance at this week’s second test after mainly concentrating on reliability until now.

Mercedes are chasing a record sixth successive title double this season.

Ferrari last won a constructors’ championship in 2008, the year of Hamilton’s first drivers’ title with McLaren.

Reuters


Extreme racing at Dezzi Raceway

For the first time, the national Global Touring Car series will take place at the at the south coast circuit

On Saturday, Dunlop and Falken Tyres present the Extreme Festival at the Dezzi Raceway in KwaZulu-Natal.

The one-make Polo Cup championship, with new sponsor Falken Tyres on board, is expected to be one of the highlights of the Extreme Festival at Dezzi Raceway this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED
The one-make Polo Cup championship, with new sponsor Falken Tyres on board, is expected to be one of the highlights of the Extreme Festival at Dezzi Raceway this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED

Driven by Sumitomo Rubber SA — the holding company behind co-hosts Dunlop and Falken Tyres — the event will host six races on the day. The four-wheeled action will comprise the Falken Polo Cup, the Global Touring Car (GTC) series, the GTC 2, and the Investchem 1600 single-seaters, while the motorcycles will be represented by the SA Superbikes and the Supersport 600s.

This is the first time that the national GTC series will take place at the south coast circuit. The 2.5km circuit is situated just south of Port Shepstone on the lower KwaZulu-Natal coast.

It started off as a drag and drifting venue, but was later turned into a full-blown racing circuit by its owner, Desmond Gutzeit of Knysna Hillclimb fame. Spectators are in for a treat as the venue boasts beautiful scenery and views as well as a series of tight twists and turns, which together with the main straight, promise close racing.

The event features a string of firsts; it is both the first stop in the 2019 national circuit-racing tour and the first time that a national bike series will compete alongside a national car series, on the same day.

The one-make Falken Polo Cup brings to the fore the individual skill of the driver in mechanically identical cars, and is a breeding ground for talented drivers.

Champion Jeffrey Kruger will be back to defend his title in the Universal Healthcare Polo, and he will again have to hold off the attentions of Tasmin Pepper who narrowly lost out in the 2018 title fight, and third-place Jonathan Mogotsi. 

The revelation of the past two seasons has to be Mogotsi. Three years ago the youngster’s only racing experience was limited to simulation games on a television. For 2019 he is considered one of the favourites to claim the title.

In 2017 Mogotsi won a race in his first year, something which is almost unheard of. The following year he nearly won the title after being in the fight all year long.

Tickets for the Extreme Festival are R80 per adult and free for children under 12. The gates open at 8am and close at 5pm.

For more information visit www.extremefestival.co.za.