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2014-07-24 13:46

KYALAMI IS SAVED! F1 driver Alain Prost at the South African GP at Kyalami on October 15 1983. Porsche MD Toby Venter saved the day when he bought the racetrack for R205-million at auction on July 24 2014. Image: AFP / LEHTIKUVA

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - The world-famous Kyalami racetrack has been sold for R205-million at the High Street Auction to Porsche South Africa and its MD Toby Venter - who spoke directly to Wheels24 with his story.

Porsche South Africa spokesperson Christo Kruger told Wheels24 moments before the gavel fell: "Yes, Toby Venter's Porsche South Africa has bought Kyalami."

Venter, an avid racing driver too, paid R205-million for the encumbrance-free land - and the race track.


Venter told Wheels24: "Kyalami is saved and that was the main reason I bought it, and yes for SA Motorsport too. It would have been a tragedy if the racetrack was lost. We all have a role to play and every single motorsport enthusiast needs to know the track is saved.

"We'll be integrating some of Porsche SA's business units with the racetrack, but other manufacturers are most welcome too."

Venter said that Porsche South Africa was the sole buyer of the track and that the goal is to "preserve Kyalami as a racetrack for as long as possible".

He said: "It's just a huge privilege to have been able to make this purchase and a great day that the track has been saved."

Kyalami race track was auctioned with a R200-million reserve on Thursday (July 24 2014).

According to Motoring journalist and motorsport enthusiast Roger McCleery, who was at the auction, there were 10 bidders -seven motorsport-related people and three property developers.


McCleery said: "Kyalami bidders had to put down R4-million to be able to bid. A revised reserve price of R200-million had been set."

The High Street Auction Co, responsible for the sale, claimed it was the first race track to be auctioned in South Africa.

Earlier in July Wheels24 reported that attempts to halt the action were in vain when a court gave the go-ahead for the sale. According to court papers, 11 applicants who claimed rights over the land applied to have the auction halted.

In terms of the court ruling these "claims and onerous obligations" were either waived by agreement or abandoned.

The Kyalami property covers about 35ha. It opened as a race track in 1961 and was rebuilt in the early 1990's as part of a commercial development but changed again after Formula 1 abandoned the rebuilt circuit in 1993.

One of the most famous races held at Kyalami was the 1977 South African Formula 1 GP in which race marshal Frederick Jansen van Vuuren and driver Tom Pryce were killed.

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