Some three thousand years ago, King David himself probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls and other city landmarks.
The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been delayed because of the summer war but it was back in full force with internationally legendary drivers including stunt driver Terry Grant and motorcycle stunt rider Rafal Pasierbek racing through the capital. Grant, from Britain, holds 15 world records and Pasierbek, from Poland, is an internationally-respected motorcycle stunt rider.
Pasierbek, 28, found himself amazed by the Israeli crowd’s energy on Tuesday. “It was one of the best events I’ve ever been to,” Pasierbek told Israeli media. “The huge crowd today gave me the adrenaline to do harder tricks; I just put my fear in my pocket and went with my adrenaline.”
According to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, an estimated 300,000 people were expected to turn up for the second annual Jerusalem Formula One Road Show during the two days that the exhibition took place. Last year, the event drew some 250,000 people.
In addition to the international race car drivers, this year’s show also featured rising Israeli motor-sport stars including Roi Nissany, Yarin Stern, Bar Baruch and Alon Day.
The route for the race began at the Jerusalem Old Train Station and then passed by Liberty Bell Park, King David Street, Mamilla Boulevard, and the Karta parking lot next to the Jaffa Gate of the Old City before returning to the starting point. More sports cars can currently be seen on display at the Jerusalem train station, including an Audi car from a La-Mans race, a Formula 3 car, an American NASCAR, and a car from the Ferrari Challenge in Europe.
“The pictures of the Formula 1 cars racing through our streets sends an international message that Jerusalem is an open, welcoming city in which sport and entertainment are enjoyed by residents and tourists alike,” stated Mayor Barkat, a former race car driver himself.
For three-time F1 Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella of Italy, it was the international race car driver’s second time racing through the holy city. “Last year, it was an incredible and emotional experience to become the first Scuderia Ferrari driver to exhibit in Jerusalem,” he said.
“I still remember those hundreds of thousands of people cheering my laps in a Formula 1 car and I would like to thank our sponsor, Kaspersky and our team to be part of Jerusalem Formula Peace Race again,” Fisichella stated.