Historic South African F1 track goes under the hammer

A partial view of the Kyalami race track is seen Thursday July 24, 2014 north of Johannesburg. The South African unit of sports car maker Porsche bought the Kyalami race track for $19.5 million.
A partial view of the Kyalami race track is seen Thursday July 24, 2014 north of Johannesburg. The South African unit of sports car maker Porsche bought the Kyalami race track for $19.5 million.

South Africa's Kyalami racetrack, which hosted Formula 1 races for 18 years, could be lost to motorsport.

The famed circuit's 72ha site, which is in a rapidly developing area north of Johannesburg went up for auction this week.

Auctioneer Lance Chalwin-Mitton said it might be possible for the new owners to keep the track and develop around it.

The fast 4.25km circuit hosted Grand Prix races from 1967 until 1985 when it was axed from the world championship because of the former apartheid regime.

Local hero and former world champion Jody Scheckter won the South African GP there in 1975.

Formula 1 was revived at Kyalami in 1992 and 1993 after Nelson Mandela was released from prison but a sponsor's bankruptcy ended the GP. Frenchman Alain Prost was the last winner at Kyalami in 1993.

The circuit hosted its last international competition in May 2010 with the sixth race of the World Superbike Championship.

-AAP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 18 Dec 2014 16:44:03 Processing Time: 421ms