Porsche Bought South Africa’s Kyalami Race Track
If you’re a fan of Formula 1, you’ll undoubtedly remember or have at least heard of South Africa’s Kyalami racing circuit, which played host to 20 F1 races between 1967 and 1993. Well, today it’s under new ownership – Porsche South Africa. The German automaker purchased the racetrack for $19.5 million at auction on Thursday, which helps secure its future in motorsport and eases the minds of nostalgic race fans. “It’s going to stay in the industry, which is the most important thing,” noted the auction’s director, Lance Chalwin-Milton.
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Located just north of Johannesburg, the racing venue saw victories from the sport’s most prominent figures – Jim Clark, Mario Andretti, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, and even South African Jody Scheckter. The event was dropped from the F1 calendar in 1985 after South Africa was assigned an international sports ban, and rejoined the schedule for 1992 and 1993 after apartheid had ended.
However, the likelihood that Formula 1 racing makes a return to the circuit will remain doubtful. The costs of upgrading the circuit to meet the sport’s growing safety needs would prove an expensive proposition and a risky stab at filling an already bustling season lineup. The 2014 F1 calendar currently features 19 races, spanning March to November, three more events than were featured in Kyalami’s last grand prix season. The 2015 season could possibly tack on two more races as well.
Kyalami will most likely support minor national and international racing series, as well as offer Porsche another location to test new vehicle development. $19.5 million dollars…not a bad deal when you consider that the Nurburgring sold for $106.8 million in March.
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