Durban will host beachfront A! grand prix again

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Durban is gearing up to again stage one of the world's most exciting street motor races on its beachfront on Sunday.

Voted the best city host for last years' A1 Grand Prix, city organisers say they are even better prepared for the event than last year.

The Grand Prix contributed more than R300million to the local economy last year, according to independent research, and this year revenues should show a marked increase.

Most hotels in the city are booked up ahead of the event with many beach-front hotels cashing in on the action by charging a minimum of R1000 a person. Ticket sales have been very brisk with limited seating still available.

Durban's traffic authorities have implemented road closures since January 15 to accommodate the big race, including development of the racetrack and the installation of pedestrian bridges and grandstands.

Durban Africa, the city's tourism wing, is also capitalising on the event with the aim of getting more visitors to see more of the city.

Spokesman Vuyo Ludidi said: "Projecting the image of the city as a sophisticated destination with lots to offer is one of our important objectives in raising the profile of Durban as a brand.

"We are using celebrities, dignitaries and other VIPs as our brand ambassadors."

In addition all A1 drivers will take time off to play in a special golf tournament, go on a game excursion in the heart of the province and swim with the sharks at the Ushaka Marine Theme Park.

To get some fast action in the water, Durban Africa is sponsoring a catch and cook day for fisherman and a variety of other lifestyle events will be taking place in venues across the city which will be covered by Top Billing on SABC 3, Ludidi said.