Elite motor sport series launched

Picture, if you can, a car accelerating from zero to 300 km/h in just a shade over nine seconds, propelled by 2 000 brake horsepower. That is just what the electric Lotus Evija can do and it is the centrepiece of a new motor sport initiative between a local and a Chinese consortium.  

The announcement, made a few hours ahead of the BRICS Summit, at Sandton Square, had founding members of the new Elite World Cup consortium – Tokyo Sexwale, Liu Yu and Stephen Watson in the spotlight.  

“The Elite World Cup is not just a racing competition,” says Sexwale, Co-founder of the Elite World Cup. “It is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation and sustainability.”  

Stephen Watson, Co-founder of the Elite World Cup, says: “The Cup is called Elite for a reason as we will engage and invite experienced international racing car drivers that have competed across F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, WRC and the likes. We want the drivers and teams who have established themselves and represented their countries in various prestigious motorsport championships around the world.”  

Scheduled to start in September 2024, the race programme will run in the so-called ‘off season’ for all the other major championships and teams from around the world will compete in a series of 8-10 World Cup race weekends.  

The consortium is aiming to have 25 cars on the grid – all identical and prepared by the organisers and issued to the teams ahead of each race.   Watson says five countries have committed to the series – South Africa and China, naturally, and considering the launch even featured Emerson Fittipaldi speaking from Monterey in California, Brazil is also a likely player.  

While Watson was not saying who the other countries are, he did acknowledge they were in conversation with Colombian ex-F1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya.  

According to Yu, one asks three primary questions when it comes to the selection of electric hypercars: how big is its performance, how far is its range and how rapidly can you recharge?.  

As a road car, the Lotus already holds fast to its reputation as a striking manifestation of elegance and raw power. With 2 000+ bhp (brake horsepower) and acceleration of 0 to 300 km/h in just over 9 seconds, it is as brutal as any car can be.  

As the motor sport industry embraces the transition to electric power, the Elite World Cup stands as a beacon of change. By fostering competition, collaboration, and breakthroughs in electric vehicle technology, this event will drive advancements that have far-reaching implications for the automotive industry and beyond.  

“We have run Team China in many prestigious racing championships since we first started racing internationally in 2004,” says Yu. “The automotive landscape has evolved significantly, and as the electric car industry is growing rapidly in China, we’re excited and proud to be at the forefront of this Elite revolution in sports,” says Yu.  

The Chinese connection goes even further considering its car giant, Geely, owns Lotus (as well as Volvo and Aston Martin).

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