With a new name and a different race venue, the East Rand Classic road cycle race has stepped in to take the place of the former Emperors Palace event in Johannesburg on April 28.
The Kempton Park casino, which had hosted the event for several years, was not able to continue its association with the race due to logistical reasons, ASG Events chief executive Erick Oosthuizen said.
“It is a great pity and we thank them for their hospitality over the last couple of years,” he said.
This has resulted in the main change of moving the race venue to the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) parkade, adjacent to the OR Tambo International airport.
Oosthuizen felt the change added several positive aspects to the overall offering.
“We feel this will be a very handy venue. It may not be the most scenic of venues, but we believe it is the perfect fit for what we need.”
He said the chief benefit would be that of accessibility and safety.
“We will have the entire venue to ourselves and, therefore, we can make it safe. We will finish away from the public roads and there is plenty of shade [carports], which is always handy.”
Oosthuizen added that the parkade was a former long-term parking area for the airport, which it no longer used.
“It is directly south of the airport, very close to Emperors Palace.
“This means that the route is virtually unchanged as the two venues [Emperors and Acsa] are only 2.5km from one another. It will just be the first few kilometres and the last stretch that will have a slightly different look.”