The initiative is support of Cape Speed, a student team from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), who will be competing in the Formula Student cup. The cup is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, and will see the team pit their formula built car against 110 teams from around the world.
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By sending out tweets with the hashtag #capespeed or liking the team’s Facebook page, you can show your support the team and help move a car along the track.
According CPUT’s communications spokesperson, Niven Maree, the initiative will also allow people to take part in a real-life digital racing competition “where they will be able to program their own laps using the different Scalextric race sectors.”
The 300-piece track, which will be situated in Canal Walk, one of Cape Town’s biggest shopping malls, is 16 metres long and 12 square metres when instituted. “The mechanic used is custom-built software with a server on the track, which allows the #capespeed hash tag or Facebook ‘like’ to power the lap and the car to continue moving,” says Alan Cronje, creative group head at Saatchi & Saatchi’s digital arm AtPlay, the agency behind the campaign.
“We needed an idea that would generate maximum talkability across social networks and garner support for the team before they leave as well as to involve public participation, building a virtual track was not as compelling,” Cronje adds. “There is something quite special about sending a tweet and seeing it affect the car almost immediately.”
You can also check out the progress of the race from a live stream on the site. We’re having a difficult time deciding which is cooler: tweeting for a can of Ice Tea or using the social network to drive a Scalextric car.