African Motorsport (Infrastucture, teams and drivers)

African Motorsport (Infrastucture, teams and drivers)

Author
Discussion

LucyP

422 posts

17 months

Wednesday 18th March
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You're right Eric Mc except in relation to the future being club/entry level. That just doesn't pay the bills for circuits or organising clubs.

amokwa

449 posts

155 months

Wednesday 18th March
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Eric Mc said:
There was a Tripoli (Libya) GP held in the 1930s. That was when Libya was controlled by Italy and Mussolini wanted to showcase one of his colonies.

The only country I can see where a decent infrastucture and long lasting motor racing tradition exists is South Africa.

I actually think that it is probably too late for Africa to embrace motor sport. Even in established traditional motor sport countries I can see the tide of public opinion gradually moving against it. As other issues seem to be dominating peoples' thoughts, motor sport looks more and more of an elaborate extravagance - ESPECIALLY F1.

If African countries could get their act together, they could have thriving leisure and tourist industries (it already exists in some places) but I don't think motor sport could, or perhaps even should, be part of any new tourist/leisure industry.

I think the long term future of motor sport is at club and entry level.
Great post, thoughtfully laid out. In addition to the above, the iconic Safari Rally is back on the FIA WRC calender this year. You are right though in that it is preferable to develop the leisure and tourist industries further as opposed to motor racing.

Last Christmas, Ghana hosted the Year of Return initiative which saw a huge influx of tourists from around the world and a welcome boost to the local economy.

Wednesday 18th March
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Surely off-road motor sport is the place to start. Africa is not short of open space. Rallying, Baja / Paris Dakar style, Motorcycle enduro events, etc. require lots of manpower to support and Africa has this in spades. They don't require anywhere near the same level of infrastructure.

Start there and build up to circuits.

Another option is closed road racing. The Chinese have spent billions in Africa on infrastructure projects - lots of brand new roads to play on. Just need accommodating local government to support.

LucyP

422 posts

17 months

Wednesday 18th March
quotequote all
Are you sure? The clue was in the name: YEAR of the Return. It was a year long event, not just Christmas. Also, it had nothing to do with motorsport whatsoever and there were no motorsport events, so I'm not sure why you have posted it in a thread about the benefit of developing motorsport to attract tourists!

It was an event linked to slavery, given Ghana's role in the slave trade, and about African-American people returning, (hence the RETURN) who could trace their ancestry to Africa.

It was supposed to bring in an extra 500,000 visitors. In then end an extra 250,000 arrived compared with 2018, but there had been an unexpected dip in tourists in 2018 anyway, so it only brought numbers back up to 2017 levels, and no one collected any data as to why people were visiting Ghana, and whether it was the Year of Return event or not.

Eric Mc

112,545 posts

223 months

Wednesday 18th March
quotequote all
LucyP said:
You're right Eric Mc except in relation to the future being club/entry level. That just doesn't pay the bills for circuits or organising clubs.
Maybe the circuits need to reassess their ambitions.

LucyP

422 posts

17 months

Wednesday 18th March
quotequote all
But how can they Eric?

Running costs are what they are. Rent, rates, staff costs, maintenance, safety, medics, compliance with regulations.

Eric Mc

112,545 posts

223 months

Wednesday 18th March
quotequote all
You would be amazed at how things can change if people put their minds to it.

The alternative is no motor sport at all - which may very well be the future.

Ludovic P

Original Poster:

9 posts

7 months

Wednesday 18th March
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Hey Lucy P,

For reference and in alignment with your attention for details, the Year of the Return celebrations in 2019 were meant for the entire African diaspora not exclusively for African Americans. It was meant to reminisce what started 400 years ago in 1619.

You may be aware that there are over 200 millions + afro-descendent across The Americas (from the North to the South and including the Caribbeans).

End of December the date for both Afrochella and the Full Circle festival initiated by a mix of Ghanaian American celebrities including Boris Kodjoe and Bozoma St John done in collaboration with Essence Festival (as of recent) and the Ghanaian government.

That said, why does it matter with Motorsports event? All the ingredients are met.

Lastly, a discussion on sports without the condescension is always better appreciated.

Eric Mc

112,545 posts

223 months

Wednesday 18th March
quotequote all
Is there any sort of African motor sport championship?

Before the advent of the World Drivers Championship in 1950, pre-war there was a European Championship that included Grands Prix, Hill Climbs and Sprints.


Ludovic P

Original Poster:

9 posts

7 months

Wednesday 18th March
quotequote all
Hey Eric M

Here are some of the current championships

- African rally championship
- Africa Eco Race (ivory coast/ kenya / uganda / rwanda / tanzania / zambia / south africa / madagascar
- South African Endurance series (prototypes and GT )
- South Africa Karting ( Rok Cup / Rotax Cup )
- Volkswagen Oettinger Polo Cup SA
- Formula M South Africa
- Formula Ford 1600 SA
- Mauritius National Rallye
- Mauritian Slalom Championship
- Redbull Car Park Drift Mauritius
These are some examples for all Motorsports but this is not an exhaustive list.

Eric Mc

112,545 posts

223 months

Wednesday 18th March
quotequote all
Sounds mostly off road, which would make sense.

benjack

3 posts

87 months

Thursday 19th March
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Long time PH lurker here.
Also I keep a racecar at Killarney in South Africa.

Ludo
Interesting thread, thank you for starting it.
Yours is a difficult question, and something South African motorsport is struggling with.

I found a list of racetracks in Africa a while ago:
http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/tracks/africa.h...

The list is not complete, and also includes a number of tracks that no longer exist.

The FIA website shows 38 member associations in Africa. This is probably a good place to start if you want to reach out to anyone.
https://www.fia.com/members/region/4

You are probably aware that South Africa has an active motorsport community. Link here to MSA, the controlling authority. https://www.motorsport.co.za
And a splinter group WOMSA. https://www.womzasa.co.za/

Circuit racing, off road racing, oval track (dirt and tar), drags, karting and drifting are all popular.
Obviously there is financial pressure on competitors as well as pressure to redevelop tracks into residential/commercial property. But things seem to bumble along, and every type of racing has its fans.

Historically the most popular years in South Africa were when the big manufacturers were sponsoring teams in Group N. ("standard" production cars.) Now, the big crowds come for drag racing and oval track events.

Both Namibia and Zimbabwe have some motorsport at the moment. But grids and public interest is small.
I cannot speak of the rest of Africa, but do know Kenya and Morocco have motorsport history and culture.

I think public interest grows when people can relate to the cars and drivers. Local drivers finding success overseas, and branded racecars that the buying public/spectators can associate with brings in the people.

My thoughts on how to start from zero?
Find a group of people/friends with an interest in motorsport.
Find space for simple racing. (dirt oval, airfield for drags or a short off-road race.)
Attract more people to participate.
Form a club.
Approach local authorities regarding a venue for racing. (Karting, drag racing and off road possibly require less infrastructure investment.)
Arrange a few events.
Get coverage in local media, and eventually at National level.
Approach sponsors to finance events.
Formalize the club to enable event insurance, marshals, affiliation with National/International motorsport authorities.
Then see if there is funding available for a permanent venue.

This is opposite from expecting to host an F1 event to kick start a motorsport culture, or expecting help from above.

Just my thoughts.

Eric Mc

112,545 posts

223 months

Thursday 19th March
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I would say your assessment is spot on. Sport grows from the roots, not from the head.

Parachuting in F1 Grands Prix into countries with little or no previous enthusiasm for motor sport does not create a motor sport loving population.

HustleRussell

18,492 posts

118 months

Friday 20th March
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LucyP said:
Don't be patronising.
The irony rofl

amokwa

449 posts

155 months

Monday 23rd March
quotequote all
LucyP said:
Are you sure? The clue was in the name: YEAR of the Return. It was a year long event, not just Christmas. Also, it had nothing to do with motorsport whatsoever and there were no motorsport events, so I'm not sure why you have posted it in a thread about the benefit of developing motorsport to attract tourists!

It was an event linked to slavery, given Ghana's role in the slave trade, and about African-American people returning, (hence the RETURN) who could trace their ancestry to Africa.

It was supposed to bring in an extra 500,000 visitors. In then end an extra 250,000 arrived compared with 2018, but there had been an unexpected dip in tourists in 2018 anyway, so it only brought numbers back up to 2017 levels, and no one collected any data as to why people were visiting Ghana, and whether it was the Year of Return event or not.
I know what it was linked to. The point I was making was to buttress the tourism aspect Eric MC made that it is a more viable prospect to motor racing in Africa.

LucyP

422 posts

17 months

Monday 23rd March
quotequote all
I don't see how you can link motorsport to an event that had nothing to do with motorsport, and had no motorsport events. The commemoration was supposed to bring in lots of tourists, but failed to do so anyway.

amokwa

449 posts

155 months

Monday 23rd March
quotequote all
LucyP said:
I don't see how you can link motorsport to an event that had nothing to do with motorsport, and had no motorsport events. The commemoration was supposed to bring in lots of tourists, but failed to do so anyway.

Reread my post again, secondly it did not fail, lots of tourists attended, you need to check your facts.

LucyP

422 posts

17 months

Monday 23rd March
quotequote all
Read my statistics. It failed. And your post does not address the points that I made.

andrewcliffe

596 posts

182 months

Monday 23rd March
quotequote all
A dual axis approach is needed, the ability for people to compete safely and affordably in club level and grass roots forms of motorsport, and halo big ticket events to inspire people. Its the job of an organising body to cultivate both ends of the spectrum fairly.

A venue needs to be used - track days, experience days, test days during the week, and then sprints and races and timed events at the weekends.



Edited by andrewcliffe on Monday 23 March 18:03