KYALAMI UPGRADES: Construction continues on the main straight (pictured here) leading into the new Crowthorne corner followed by Jukskei and Barbeque. The new service road is visible to the right of the straight. Image: ProDrone SA
Today - July 24 2015 - is the first anniversary of the dramatic auction of the iconic Kyalami Grand Prix circuit.
The first anniversary of the purchase of the property by business entrepreneur Toby Venter highlights the magnitude of the refurbishment that was announced in May.
A media release from the track says the scope of reconstruction has dramatically increased to include more safety upgrades and substantial upgrades to the pits building, brand activation and conferencing facilities.
READ: Kyalami track changes revealed.
Two months have passed since the upgrade started and the project is running on schedule, claims Kyalami - though it has lost the November 9-Hour Endurance race to Killarney in Cape Town. The new circuit layout is now visible and the extent of the work undertaken is evident all around the 73ha site.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Kyalami track changes
VIDEO: Virtual lap around the 2015 Kyalami track
A media statement added: "The tar has been stripped from the circuit and construction of the new service roads is well under way. Work continues on the new kerbs, surface preparation of the base layers for the track keeps pace. It is exciting to see that the spectator areas will offer fantastic viewing opportunities for race fans, with the boma demolition project almost complete."
SCOPE OF PROJECT
During initial construction it became evident that the remaining part of the circuit required more attention to drivers' and spectators' safety, says track engineers. After an inspection it was decided to replace all debris fencing, safety barriers and tyre and belting safety systems around the entire circuit.
The decision was also taken to replace all gravel in the arrester beds and, after consultation with the International Automobile Federation, tarred run-off areas have been added at Sunset and Ingwe corners.
More than 60km of cable has been ordered for the new-specification debris fencing that will be erected around the circuit. Owing to the increase in the scope of works the completion date for the track project is expected to be towards the end of October 2015.
The Kyalami pits building has been finalised. Apart from its function for motorsport and motoring events the building caters for conferencing, activation and exhibitions, say staff.
The upgrade, estimated as costing close to R50-million, is intended to increase the appeal of the conference facility as the preferred activation and exhibition venue in the growing Kyalami area, the statement said. Apart from substantial upgrades to the ablution facilities, food preparation areas upstairs will be equipped to deal with large events.
The first floor of the building will be widened, increasing available space, especially in the paddock, to accommodate larger events. A new viewing deck and welcome area will be constructed at the end of the building to provide a 270-degree views of Ingwe corner and the Gauteng skyline.
The new façade with enclosed staircases will it's claimed, "give the new pits building a spectacular appearance in line with international standards". In conjunction with new adjoining parking areas, the facility will offer what is called a unique alternative as the premier venue for conferencing, events and exhibitions. The project, which will start in early August, is expected to be completed in early 2016.
"The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit will once again host spectacular events at both international and national levels," according to the media statement.
NEW CORNER NAMES: The new Crocodiles corner (pictured here) will be an exiting new driver challenge and is set to offer great spectator views. Image: ProDrone SA