The ING Renault F1 team staged a special demonstration on the streets of Johannesburg at the weekend, taking its roadshow initiative to the city in partnership with the Gauteng provincial government.
A month after demonstrating its cars at the Technocentre in Paris, the team travelled to South Africa for an extraordinary demonstration in the Sandton district of Johannesburg. It was a repeat visit for many of the Roadshow team, who had staged a similarly exciting spectacle in the same area of the city, drawing crowds of 100,000 spectators, a year ago.
Nelson Piquet Jr, fresh from his first Formula One podium at the German Grand Prix, and Lucas di Grassi, the team's third driver, were both present to meet the South African public, who once again turned out en masse, and donuts and burnouts with last year's R27 car delighted the 60, 000 spectators present on Sunday.
"Last year, I really enjoyed being part of this event, and this year we have had an equally warm welcome," Nelson Piquet commented after climbing from the cockpit, "It was a lot of fun to do this demonstration and I hope that the public also enjoyed it."
"The public in Johannesburg have been amazing and we have had an incredible reception from everyone," di Grassi added, "I really hope that they enjoyed this demonstration because that was the objective of the day."
Gauteng recent confirmed that it had attracted the A1GP Series to Kyalami from 2008-09, and the Renault Roadshow acted as the perfect means of whetting the public's appetite for motorsport.
"To us, as the Gauteng provincial government, the partnership with the ING Renault F1 Team is an opportunity to showcase our province's competitive advantages on the international stage," MEC for finance and economic affairs, Paul Mashatile, said, "This partnership will further strengthen our efforts to promote Gauteng as an investment and tourism destination and will consolidate our position as the home of champions.
"Our involvement in this partnership is informed by our desire to stimulate the competitive sport sector of the provincial economy, which we believe has enormous potential to contribute towards job creation and higher levels of economic growth. The partnership is also in line with our approach to support the automotive industry as one of the job creating sectors of the provincial economy."