Jerusalem–As American Jewry braces for a stormy winter, their Israeli counterparts are preparing for an even more tumultuous season; a round of highly infectious Formula One Fever. For the second year in a row, the world-famous racing tour will be visiting Israel, flooding its capital with racers and fans alike, as the cars prepare to take on the historically inspired circuits around thousands-year-old city.
Last year, the city of Jerusalem, in partnership with Formula One, inaugurated the “Formula Jerusalem: A Peace Journey” race, a new addition to the city’s multicultural event schedule putting it in line with New York, Moscow, Sao Paulo and Macau, which host similar races. The race drew out crowds of over 70,000 spectators, who lined the scenic and historic route to watch the spectacle. The event, which included an exhibition of race cars and two races through the city, cost the city of Jerusalem over 15 million NIS (about $4.15 million).
The Formula Jerusalem races start October 6th through the end of Sukkot, an exhibition will be on display at the First Station, showing off cars in the race, as well as a recreated Formula One paddock, vintage motorcycles, and other racing paraphernalia. There will also be a merchandise store, so visitors can take a piece of the race back home with them.
The main attraction, the high-speed races through the streets of Jerusalem, will take place following Yom Kippur, on Monday, October 6 and Tuesday, October 7 at 3:30 p.m. Seating is available in grandstands along the track for a fee, or for free from surrounding buildings and parks. This year’s route will include the popular Center of Town (King George) area, the stylish outdoor Mamila Mall, and the historic Old City. The course is guaranteed to fulfill its promise of blending the modern and ancient.
Yair K, a native of Nof Ayalon (Shalavim) who studies in Jerusalem, missed the race last year and is very excited for its return. “I’ve been looking forward to [this] for a while. It’ll be so cool to see the drivers from other countries come together and race through Jerusalem.”
Whether a Jerusalem resident or tourist from abroad, if you have a need for speed, come and catch Formula One fever in the Holy City; you will not be disappointed.
By Tzvi Silver