The City of Cape Town and the Western Province Motor Club have teamed up for a weekly event at Killarney race track, aimed at curbing illegal street racing.
The Robot Racing event allows car enthusiasts to race against each other on a track instead of the street. The start of the race is signalled by a traffic light turning from red to green, hence the name Robot Racing, and the first person over the line wins.
All cars undergo a basic safety check before being permitted onto the track to reduce the possibility of incidents involving the drivers.
The pilot event was held in December, with the weekly events kicking off in mid-March. The City’s R450 000 contribution – split between the safety and security and tourism, events and economic development directorates – is for a six-month trial.
“In the past we’ve received feedback that people resort to illegal street races because there are too few events at Killarney. So the City has literally put its money where its mouth is by funding these events and taking the frequency from monthly to weekly.
“It’s taken a while to secure the funding that I alluded to a year ago, but the City has come to the party and I hope that racing enthusiasts will join us and stay off the streets,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith.
According to the Western Province Motor Club, race participation is free but there is a gate fee of R50. This, together with the City’s contribution, covers the cost of employing marshalls, security and safety officials, as well as ensuring the presence of medical staff.
A portion of the City’s contribution will also be used to cover the cost of erecting noise abatement structures to minimise any disturbance to local residents.
These structures have been designed by and will be erected under the guidance of the acoustic engineering consultants contracted to the Western Province Motor Club.
A portion will also be utilised to promote these events and road safety in general via the well known radio personality, Ready D.
‘We welcome this joint initiative and the City’s tangible support. Killarney is an international multipurpose event venue with ever-growing popularity among racing participants, enthusiasts and families.
“We are committed to track and road safety for all users – motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. At Killarney we offer all the excitement and competition of street racing, but under safe conditions and as a pleasant event experience,” said the Executive Manager at Killarney, Des Easom.