Porsche’s South African connections have bought the Kyalami Circuit near Johannesburg, South Africa. Recently offered at auction as commercial development land, the South African Porsche dealer CEO apparently had to put £200k on deposit to bid in an auction sale that eventually lasted less than a minute. The final purchase price was just under $20 million, or £11.5 Million.

Kyalami Racetrack

The purchase joins up a news loose end for me as, a few weeks ago, my number 1 Jo’burg informant sent me a picture of a 919 Hybrid-like creature being trailered away from the circuit. I did some research and found the link to the auction. I suspected something could be happening but did not want to speculate. That kind of chat makes it dearer for everyone. That said, the secret obviously escaped as the reserve went from zero to R129 Million to R200 Million within a few days.

Porsche guys buy Kyalami Circuit

What will happen with the circuit? Could be a hot weather testing zone open to Volkswagen/Porsche badge, with the added ability of customer experience and on-site vehicle engineering centres. Jo’burg is also a great place for car launches in the depths of winter without having to fly to Australia. Summer runs from October to April, when snow never happens, rain is infrequent and January temps approach 30 degrees.

Porsche 911 Launch Ocean Johannesburg (1)

The main thing is no one will build houses on it, so well done to the J’Burgers for stepping up. That said, I’m sure it could make a tidy profit if they did split some of it off for development.

The Old Kyalami

Alastair Caldwell, friend of Ferdinand, former McLaren team manager and now erstwhile marathon rally driver, tells some great stories about Kyalami, back when his driver James Hunt gorged on the breakfast of champions. I can’t think of one that’s repeatable, but no doubt the legend of the old Kyalami circuit’s speed and debauchery lives on in race circles. With Mexico coming back on the GP calendar, maybe Kyalami will be next. It would certainly make a good WEC venue, although the new circuit is not as exciting as the old one, which was raced until 1985.

Old Kyalami was absolutely awesome. The lap finished in a huge uphill climb to the main straight where the cars could reach more than 200 mph on a surface rougher than a Belgian motorway. Check out this video of Prost in the Renault during 1983. They don’t make them like this anymore!


New Guy Allen Print: Porsche 911 RSR Sebring 1973

July 28, 2014

Ferdinand Magazine’s favourite digital artist, Guy Allen, has just released a new print for summer 2014. Celebrating a famous 911 win at the 1973 Daytona 12 Hours, Guy has created a striking Porsche 911 artwork that does justice to the hard-fought Sebring showdown. Porsche 911 RSR Sebring 1973 Veteran race fans may recall how, in […]

Read the full article →

Silverstone Classic is a Porsche Racing Dream

July 28, 2014

The sun has set on another great Silverstone Classic: an event that is maturing into a laid back petrolfest of epic proportions. Silverstone is local to me: only fifteen minutes from home. I’ve never previously considered local events as being world class, and I am not alone. Talking to some Le Mans locals at a […]

Read the full article →

Epic Drives: Rent a Porsche in Sydney Australia

July 23, 2014

My last post was about Gavin’s Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 Targa. This is the car that inspired a business: hiring Porsche 911s for scenic drives around Sydney, Australia. “Seven years ago, we moved to the scenic coast and highlands area south of Sydney,” says Gavin. “I soon realised that there were some fantastic driving opportunities […]

Read the full article →

Yellow Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 Targa in Australia

July 23, 2014

Fellow Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 owner Gavin emails from Australia, where he’s just launched a new Porsche for hire business in Sydney, helping Porsche fans to explore the landscape beyond this great city from a 911 driver’s seat. Gavin and I have been friends online since 2006, when he was amongst the first to join […]

Read the full article →