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Calling all racers! A world championship go-karting track now open in Joburg

2019-11-18 06:00
Aerial shot of the track under construction

Image: Formula K

South Africa’s premier high-end short circuit racing track has opened in Benoni, Johannesburg.

Designed to the specifications required by Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK) and Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) governing bodies to enable classification as a Grade A short circuit, the Formula K circuit is the country's only track eligible to host world championship go-karting events.

A bit of history

It is accessible to both professional drivers and the public. The circuit is the realisation of a vision held by brothers Phillip and Marius Swanepoel of Formula K SA – who has been involved in the karting world since the 1990s.

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"We believe this is the best arrive and drive track in the country, if not the world. Professionals are able to race global competitors here, and we’ve made it possible for the public to use the facility too," Phillip points out.

George Mienie alongside track owners Philip and Ma

                                                                              Image: AutoTrader

A Nissan GT-R, designed to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary, raced an inaugural hot lap during the launch, serving to demonstrate the track’s versatility. 

"While the venue boasts international go-karting credibility, it's exciting to see another track in South Africa that is also capable of hosting short circuit racing for cars and bikes," commented motor industry commentator George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader.

Added significance

"Most motor racing professionals – anyone and everyone from Ayton Senna to Lewis Hamilton – cut their teeth in karting. Accordingly, the opening of this track is truly significant. Future Formula 1 champions could be groomed here!" he explains.

The track is 1.5km in length but can easily be modified to extend to 2.1km by including two back straights and chicanes. In addition, it can be reduced to a baby karting circuit measuring less than a kilometre in length.

Aerial shot of the track under construction

                                                                              Image: Formula K

"It will be a real test of driving acumen where simply figuring out your ideal racing line will take time, patience and skill," commented Marius.

The circuit forms part of a larger commercial development, the Formula K Business Park, that will overlook the track. It will feature a pit building with a clubhouse containing conference facilities, a restaurant, gym, restrooms, retail stores and more.

Also available soon will be a mountain bike track and BMX track for those more inclined to a fossil-fuel-free recreational activity. Furthermore, 4x4 tracks and a Warrior obstacle course for those looking for a dose of adventure without having to venture into the wilderness will be developed.

Besides being a place where racers can challenge themselve, the track will be a full-service centre as well.

"It's not just a track offering rental karts. It's everything. We sell, service, tune, race and we have a driving academy. We'll have a rotation. Mornings will be open to members and those who own karts, and afternoons will be geared towards group rentals, birthday parties, corporate events, and of course drop-in rentals."

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Compiled by: Robin Classen

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