The infamous Kyalami Grand Prix circuit was home to several Formula 1 Grand Prix's but hosted its last one in 1993. Since then, the track hosted many different types of races, both local and international, but not much was reinvested into the race track and in 2013 it went up for sale and it looked as though it would be bought over by real estate companies and scrapped.
However, it was bought over by the CEO of LSM Distributors, Toby Venter. Over the last couple of years, Kyalami revied the international standard upgrades it truly deserved and Venter now claims that the track is ready for Formula 1.
“When we bought Kyalami in 2014, a Formula One race was not our priority. The circuit had fallen into disrepair and we wanted to save this piece of SA motorsport; that was our main focus. Between then and now we’ve invested R600m into the facility. We flattened 40 structures and refurbished the facilities to build a steady income stream. We wanted to create a world-class facility that would allow us to host shows and events”.
“Formula One needs an African race and from that point of view, Kyalami is ready. Unless some other African country comes up with the money, which is about $300m, to build a facility we are the front runners.”
“We are regularly in contact with Liberty F1 (the commercial rights holder of Formula One) about the possibility of a race in SA. Currently, the track has an FIA level 2 certification (F1 requires level 1). Last year when Formula One was trying to pull together a calendar they went back to tracks that have the same grading we do. But we can make the changes that are required if there is some guarantee of a race."
“As owners of the track, we can act as a promoter or simply provide the venue to another company that is willing to host a race. The bottom line is, it comes down to money, if someone wants to host a race it can happen sooner rather than later.”
Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel: Josh Revell on Why Formula 1 Needs To Return To South Africa...
Be sure to check out our YouTube channel here for more exciting and exclusive SXdrv content! And don't forget to smash that subscribe button!