There is still a good chance that Cape Town will stage F1 grands prix from 2007 onwards, says Omega Consortium spokesman David Gant.

There is still a good chance that Cape Town will stage F1 grands prix from 2007 onwards, says Omega Consortium spokesman David Gant. CARtoday.com reported recently that the consortium was applying to F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s company, Formula One Management, for the rights to stage the event in South Africa.


“Following a series of meetings with, inter alia, a number of Cabinet Ministers, (Western Cape) Premier Ebrahim Rasool, Cape Town Mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo, Motorsport SA at national and local levels and various potential stakeholders in the private sector, we remain optimistic about our prospects of bringing the event back to our country,” quoted Gant as saying.


“Everyone we have had discussions with recognizes the economic benefits, such as increased tourism, job creation, skills training and industrial development associated with staging the event and there is pretty much a consensus that we should make every effort to succeed in our application," he added.


Omega Consortium was reportedly “fine tuning the numbers and seeking financial partners to ensure that all stakeholders from both the public and private sectors get a reasonable return on their investment”.


"We are facing stiff competition because a number of countries are very keen to host the event, but we are aware of the very strong support for Cape Town amongst the F1 decision makers,” Gant added.


Ecclestone is known to be keen to hold a Grand Prix in Africa, which is the only continent, with the exception of Antarctica, that does not host the event and Cape Town’s international tourist appeal makes the Mother City the obvious choice.


Gant said that the original end-September deadline for submission of the application to Formula One would be extended to the end of November.


“Nevertheless, even this short respite will not be relevant unless there is real evidence of meaningful progress on a daily basis from our side,” he said. “This implies a substantial measure of decisiveness from the prospective stakeholders.”


Omega Consortium claims that a Cape Town Grand Prix would attract at least 20 000 additional foreign tourists to the Cape and generate an injection of hundreds of millions to the economy of the Province on an annual basis.