In April 2016 we were invited to a media conference held at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. To prepare for the meeting we did a little bit of research on the place . It is shrouded in interesting facts. For instance, it opened in 1961 and was used to host the South African leg of the Formula One Grand Prix Championship until international sanctions were imposed because of apartheid. The original circuit was rated as one of the most dangerous tracks in pro racing and claimed the death of Welsh F1 driver, Tom Pryce. In part, bends and turns such as the infamous Leeukop Bend and the Kink were removed.
Skip a couple decade and we’re standing on the revamped, redesigned and ultra-modern Kyalami Grandprix Circuit. In 2012, the plot went up for auction. Most of those who attended the bidding wanted to bust down the pit building, rip up the tarmac and turn 77 acres of racing history into middle market apartment blocks. This was curbed by Toby Venter of Porcsche South Africa who won the auction with a bid of R205 million. To Toby the 77 acre property is more than just a piece of land with curves and bends of asphalt on it. For decades Toby has spent time with his family at the iconic race track. He sees it as part of South African automotive history that must be restored and preserved for future generations. That is why events such as the SA Festival Of Motoring are now possible – because there is a world class venue available. For the annual calendar check out this link to their official website.
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