ICONIC RACE TRACK REVIVED: Upgrades to Kyalami race track has commenced with organisers reporting that new facilties will include a new convention centre, dynamic driving training area and surface refurbishment. Image: Porsche
Johannesburg - Earlier in May 2015, Wheels24 reported that the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Midrand would receive major upgrades as its new owner Porsche SA CEO, Toby Venter, aims to revitalise the iconic race circuit.
Porsche South Africa and Venter purchased Kyalami racetrack for R205-million at the High Street Auction in 2014.
In March 2016, construction has begun with track organisers reporting phase one (of three planned stages) is complete, which includes surface upgrades and a new 4x4/off-road venue. Porsche aims to officially re-open the track later in 2016.
Watch: Porsche tests new Kyalami race track - All new corners explained
Kyalami track organisers said: "Phase one of the project, which included a comprehensive redesign and upgrade of the now 4.522km race circuit, is complete. The new layout received a specialised asphalt surface and substantial upgrades to driver, race official and spectator safety, in accordance with FIA grading."
On track for phase two
Construction of the Kyalami pit building and convention centre, which forms phase two of the project, is scheduled to be completed in May 2016.
The convention centre incorporates the new paddock club which, organisers says, is "a modern, air-conditioned spacious hall with 2770 square meters of uninterrupted, flexible event space with generous 9 meter high ceilings, providing a blank canvas ready for limitless transformation.
"The Paddock can be accessed via the new 5m wide Convention Centre bridge or via a grand staircase leading onto a 820 square meter covered viewing deck with magnificent views of the greater Johannesburg skyline. The bridge allows vehicles to drive directly into the Paddock for ease of access when loading in event gear or catering elements."
Phase three - Dynamic handling circuit
Phase three of the project includes the construction of two multi-functional outdoor exhibition areas - a dynamic driving and handling section. The dynamic driver training area includes an irrigated skid pan.
Organisers said: "The 1.1km dynamic handling circuit has been designed with the flexibility to divide into two separate circuits that can be used independently, or connected together to form a longer handling circuit with a variety of corners and gradients. A portion of the circuit will be irrigated for wet condition driver training simulation, working in synergy with the Dynamic Driver Training Area. Completion of this phase is expected at the end of May."