Durban loses right to host A1 Grand Prix

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

It is official. Durban and KwaZulu-Natal have lost the rights to host the A1 Grand Prix next year.

The city was excluded from the A1 fixture list released on Monday. This was the first public notification that Durban will no longer host the race.

While the race dates show that SA will host the race on February 22 next year, the venue remains undecided.

Indications are that the race could be hosted by Gauteng or Cape Town. Durban has hosted the race for three seasons, with the last being last year.

It was voted best host city at the end of the first year. City manager Michael Sutcliffe conceded that Durban would no longer host the A1 race.

A1 chief executive Pete da Silva said: "We are going into a new era with our series and sadly it is not possible for Durban to be part of that."

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal said in a statement: "It is a pity that the city and province have lost the A1 event. The race was growing in stature and was attracting more foreign visitors. The economic impact is over R220 million."