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Porsche buys Kyalami

NEWS STORY
28/07/2014

The Kyalami race circuit has been saved from demolition after Porsche bought the facility at auction.

In a shock move the German manufacturer bought circuit, vowing to take racing back to the legendary track which hosted 20 World Championship Grands Prix between 1961 and 1993.

The circuit, located north of Johannesburg, was the regular host of the South African Grand Prix until 1985, when Formula One finally joined other sports in boycotting the country due to Apartheid.

Formula One returned in 1992, the circuit having undergone a radical overhaul, but the race was dropped from the calendar again after just two races.

Put up for auction, there were fears the circuit would be demolished to make way for a total redevelopment however, less than two minutes into the bidding Toby Venter of Porsche South Africa had concluded the R205m (£11.4m) deal.

"Kyalami is saved and that was the main reason I bought it, and yes for SA Motorsport too," Venter told News24.com. "It would have been a tragedy if the racetrack was lost. We all have a role to play and every single motorsport enthusiast needs to know the track is saved.

"We'll be integrating some of Porsche SA's business units with the racetrack," he added, "but other manufacturers are most welcome too."

Insisting that Porsche South Africa is the sole buyer of the track Venter said the aim of the purchase is to "preserve Kyalami as a racetrack for as long as possible".

"It's a huge privilege to have been able to make this purchase and a great day that the track has been saved."

It is understood that there were ten bidders in total, one of them rumoured to be Virgin boss Richard Branson, of these seven are understood to be involved in motorsport whilst the other three are property developers.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jfagan, 29/07/2014 5:11

"While not too familiar with local politics what is certain is that the current track layout is a shadow of the old, great Kyalami of the 70s and 80s. Does anyone know if it is possible to resurrect that old track? I believe that the land at the end of the old pit "straight" was sold for development. "

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