Porsche Centre South Africa MD Toby Venter — who made the winning R205-million bid for Kyalami in July 2014 — unveiled plans for the R100-million refurbishment of the racetrack this week at the official handover to contractors.
The refurbishments, which Venter described as “the largest upgrade in the circuit’s 54-year history” are expected to be completed in September 2015. They’ll include longer straights and new challenging corners, more overtaking opportunities and the upgrading of safety facilities. The track will also be resurfaced to international specifications.
The upgrades will include changes to the start of the lap, with the previous right-left sweepers replaced by a kink leading into a much tighter Turn 2 and 3 at the end of a Start/Finish straight that will be extended to almost 900 metres, explains Wheels24.
Another exciting change will be to Turn 13, which will revert to its previous name The Crocodile. The turn will be widened and extended, providing a great overtaking opportunity.
To better accommodate racing enthusiasts, the spectator areas will be refurbished and new “exciting” and previously prohibited views of the track will also be included, Venter added.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile-approved refurbishments will elevate the iconic track back to a Grade 2 circuit, meaning it will be approved to host any type of racing, but unfortunately excluding Formula-1 events.
Venter added that the refurbishments will also respect the history and heritage of the track, reverting back to the original corner names (see picture below).
GOOD TIMES AT PORSCHE
In March this year, Porsche made history when it took the much-coveted title of 2015 Wesbank South African Car of The Year 2015 for the Macan — making it a hat-trick for the car manufacturer after winning in 2014 for the Cayman and in 2013 for the Boxter.
To solidify their success in the South African market, Venter announced Porsche was considering opening new branches in Johannesburg’s East Rand, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit and Port Elizabeth.
READ MORE: Kyalami sold for R205 million
This expansion comes after the group opened their R150-million dealership in Lynwood Road in Pretoria this month, bringing to four the number of dealerships it has in the country.