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Ready, set, race! SA's iconic Kyalami track 'returns to glory'

2016-10-12 08:23

READY TO RACE: Wheels24's Janine Van der Post will be one of eight motoring scribes to race at the inaugural motorsport festival at Kyalami. Image: Kyalami


Internet sensation and Top Gear host, Chris Harris, drives the facelifted Porsche 911 Turbo S around the iconic Kyalami race track.

Johannesburg - Since Porsche CEO Toby Venter purchased Kyalami in 2014, the iconic track has received major upgrades. The revamped track will host the new Festival of Motorsport from October 21-23.

Volkswagen South Africa has confirmed a daring new motor racing initiative featuring the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ),  the new VW Media challenge.

The challenge at Kyalami will see eight of South Africa's top motoring scribes compete in VW Motorsport Polo 1.2 TSI DSG race cars.

What's more, Wheels24's Janine Van der Post will be racing at the event.

Media challenge

Alphabetically, the media grid will comprise Andrew Leopold, Denis Droppa, Mark Jones, Michele Lupini, Sean Nurse, Mark and Lindsay Smyth, and Janine Van der Post.

The journalists are most excited and champing at the bit to get out and race, with each bringing varied levels of experience to the initiative.

The upcoming races represent the culmination of a dream for local race fans and for circuit owner Toby Venter in particular, who will also join the weekend's racing action in his Porsche 911. 

Venter has invested heavily in the famous racetrack since purchasing it at an auction in 2014, to restore and upgrade the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit into a glorious racing and conference facility for spectators, race fans, and competitors alike.

                                                             Image: Volkswagen SA

'Street cred'

Cape lass, Janine Van der Post, who spends many of her waking hours keeping Wheels24 up to date, is a motoring media mum relishing the opportunity to race at the opening of the new Kyalami. 

Van der Post said: "I'm so honoured to race at this great Kyalami event. I’m looking forward to making a difference for motorsport through this opportunity — my rivals might be more experienced (and faster) but I have skills that put taxi drivers to shame. 

“Oh, and street cred — so my media peers had better look sharp – I’m not putting up with any nonsense from my rivals - *kat se hol is vis!  

"Honestly I am rather nervous, it's going to be a huge event with over 400 entries in various motorsport races but I'm going to have fun, even if it means taking a shortcut (or two)." 

* loosely translates to 'The cat's rear is fish' - a saying my late aunt made up which means not to put up with any nonsense or believe any fibs. - Janine

SAGMJ Committee Member responsible for Motorsport, Michele Lupini, said: "Kyalami's return to glory is one of several significant aspects that will see local motorsport emerging from its hiatus at last.

"With its roots firmly in local motorsport, the SAGMJ has long grappled with ways to recapture the local motoring media's - and by extension, also the public's imagination in South African racing through an initiative like this.

"We are therefore delighted to confirm that Volkswagen, Kyalami and Cell C have partnered with the SAGMJ to provide top local motoring scribes with a lure that will not only see them racing in the historical first Kyalami meeting since its comprehensive refurbishment, but which will also urge them and their publications to most effectively cover local motorsport news going forward."

Race fans can keep abreast via the kyalamigrandprixcircuit.com website, where tickets for the historic race weekend are on sale via the Computicket link on the homepage.


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