Constructed in 1961, the original Kyalami circuit quickly developed into the premier motorsport facility in Africa.
As the host circuit for the annual 9-Hour endurance races, held in November of each year, Kyalami attracted many famous sports car teams and drivers. The first such event was won by a Porsche 550 Spyder driven by John Love in 1961.
The original Kyalami Circuit was regarded as one of the greats, and was one of the most challenging circuits of its day. Kyalami was also a popular venue for Formula 1, the first of which was hosted in 1967 and won by Pedro Rodriquez.
Other motorsport legends enjoyed success at Kyalami during the 20 Grand Prix hosted at Kyalami, including Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Jack Brabham, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Jody Scheckter.
In an address at the occasion of a Kyalami 9-Hour event media briefing, Toby Venter – Kyalami Chief Executive Officer said, ‘When the O T Venter Group bought Kyalami in 2014, we were determined to revive the circuit to its former glory and preserve a national treasure. Kyalami has now been turned into a showcase for the city of Johannesburg and for the whole of South Africa’.
‘Of course, we always hoped to attract international motorsport back to Kyalami; but first we had to ensure that we had a sustainable and viable financial model. Kyalami was therefore developed into a multi-faceted facility, which includes an FIA graded race track with conference facilities surpassing international standards, as well as huge open air display areas, where we have hosted a variety of events which have become annual fixtures on the national events calendar’.
‘Kyalami has become the matrix of a business ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Small enterprises, such as food and beverage stalls flourish, while events and staging companies create thousands of temporary employment opportunities in addition to their increasing number of permanent employees. International and national events support hotels, restaurants and the broader tourism industry’.
‘The Kyalami 9-Hour event will be televised and streamed live via the worldwide web to the far corners of the globe. The excellence of the entire Kyalami precinct designed and constructed by South African companies, will be seen by thousands of people’.
‘Young, talented South African drivers honed their talents on the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and now race for international teams. The Kyalami 9-Hour curtain raiser races will surely be the focus of international team managers, keen to spot new talent’.
‘Kyalami is not only about rekindling fond memories and creating a new legacy, but also about shaping the future of South Africa’.
‘The O T Venter Group of Companies is invested in South Africa, ready for what the future may bring, actively and boldly contributing to the financial growth of Johannesburg and beyond’.
‘The Kyalami Team understand that they are privileged to serve South Africa in this manner, practically demonstrating our commitment to sustainable financial growth in South Africa, through local support and international relevance’, Venter concluded.