Formula One car
Formula One driver Giancarlo Fisichella drives a Ferrari F60 as the Tower of David in Jerusalem's Old City is seen in the background during an road show in Jerusalem June 13, 2013. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

It’s not what you’d expect to see on the streets of Jerusalem—Formula One race cars. But an estimated 100,000 people lined the streets Thursday to see some of the fastest cars on earth drive through one of the oldest cities in the world.

It was more of an exhibition than a race as the cars took laps around the nearly two-mile course.

They sped by the walls of the Old City, the famous King David Hotel and other Jerusalem landmarks. It also included stunts on a BMW motorcycle.

The event is part of Formula One’s Peace Road Show. It features world-class racecars and drivers from teams like Ferrari, Lotus, Mercedes and Audi.

Many Israelis were thrilled with the show.

“It’s wonderful,” one father told CBN News. “Even the noise is wonderful. I’ve been working on Formula One (cars) in France and I was bringing my daughter to watch and to hear the noise. It’s exhilarating,” he said. “As you can see my kid on my shoulders and he loves it,” he added, motioning to his son. 

“It’s amazing,” another young Israeli said. “You have never seen this in Jerusalem.  It’s awesome.  We should have more of this in Israel.”

A mother with three kids said, “I think that the atmosphere is electric.”

“I’m here with my three kids and my wife and my friends and it’s beautiful,” another told us.

“I think it’s really cool, all the things that they do, the bikes. I really enjoy myself here,” another said.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat explained to a packed press conference why he felt this event would make the city a better place.
“There’s no doubt in my mind if you as reporters will find looking around Jews, Muslims and Christians all focusing on a common denominator of how sports gets people together, the love of cars, the love of people,” Barkat said. “And that is why the Formula One Peace Road show, I believe, will make Jerusalem a better place, make more people friends and send the message that Jerusalem is open for all of us to enjoy.”

The mayor hopes this will be an annual event, and some hope it will be even more often.

“For me it’s something great that in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, we have Formula One the first time and I hope it is the start of races in the future that will be in official Formula One races,” Israeli reporter Erin Adomi said.

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