The Jerusalem Formula 1 Road Show, October 6.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Jerusalem roared on Monday with race cars barreling around the walls of the Old City as part of the second annual Jerusalem Formula road show.
The event, which drew thousands of onlookers along the route from the First Station to the Karta parking lot near Mamilla, snarled traffic in the capital for most of the day.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat declared that the road show was city’s answer to harsh criticism by the US and the EU over its plans to build more housing in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood.
“We were forced to postpone the event due to Operation Protective Edge this summer, but we were determined to resume our routine in Jerusalem,” Barkat said. “It is especially important that we held it now, in the wake of the criticism by the White House and the EU.”
Barkat added that some 300,000 people were expected to view the event on Monday and Tuesday.
“Our aim is to bring back as many tourists as we can to Jerusalem, and we are expecting many visitors over the Succot holiday period.”
Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said that “motorsport unites people all over the world.”
“The event is all about fast cars with cutting-edge Formula One technology, racing around one of the world’s oldest cities and bringing local communities together,” he said. “Now we’re bringing Scuderia Ferrari to the city once again, delivering another roaring installment of Formula One speed and adrenaline for all.”
Over a dozen teams from around the world are taking part in the two-day motorsport experience, including cars from Porsche, Ferrari and Audi steered by internationally known drivers. In addition, the road show highlighted a team of young Israeli racing superstars: Roy Nissany (Formula Three driver) in the Formula Master single seater, Yarin Stern in a Formula Three single seater, Bar Baruch in a Formula Four single seater and Alon Day, who now competes in German GT Masters series.
Daniel Zahavi-Asa was one of the people who didn’t get the opportunity to see the road show in person last year.
Instead, he saw it through his friends’ eyes when they posted pictures on Facebook. This year, he didn’t want to see the show through photos.
“I want to see the cars,” he said. “I want to hear the noise.”
Zahavi-Asa’s son Eliav, who got to come to the road show for his 15th birthday, also looked forward to the raw energy of the race cars.
“I don’t really know a lot about it,” he said. “I’m just excited to see what it’s all about.”
Yishai Mendelsohn surprised his son, Davidi, with a trip to the races. Davidi, 6, has been a fan of Formula One racing for years. Mendelsohn made sure to learn about the event early enough to take off work, take his kids out of school and drive an hour from Karnei Shomron to see the cars race through the capital.
“We sound a little crazy,” Mendelsohn said, “but we do crazy things for the kids.”
Some bystanders had no knowledge of the Jerusalem Formula One Peace Road Show at all. Brother and sister Tom and Miriam Lowinger ended up watching the race by accident.
They have an apartment that sits along the road show’s route, so they stepped outside to see what all the noise was about.
“It’s here,” Tom Lowinger said, “so we came to watch.