CAPE TOWN, KYALAMI EMERGE AS SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIX HOST CONTENDERS

The Kyalami race track in Midrand, near Johannesburg, has again emerged as a top contender to host a Formula One Grand Prix if one is to be held in South Africa in the future.

However, the management of the track has cautioned racing fans not to expect a Grand Prix in the country for at least three years.

Just last year, the Grand Old Dame of local racing was facing extinction but a new owner and a 300-million-Rand (about 21.6 million US dollars) facelift has resulted in an official Grade 2 FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile ) approval by Formula One race director and safety delegate Charley Whiting.

The revamp includes a complete resurfacing of the circuit to international specifications, changes to the layout, safety upgrades and a major change of the pit building.

Andrew Baldwin from Kyalami’s management says: “Indeed, we’re a lot better than many venues that currently host Grands Prix because of the most recent investments. Therefore, Kyalami as a facility and in terms of where it is has a very strong case to host a GP.”

Hosting a Formula One race will not only cost a lot of money but long-term contracts need to be signed and costs can increase every year.

“It’s a very expensive sport to bring to the country. Everyone has to pay a very high hosting fee and then there are the running costs of the event. So we hope and pray because the continent deserves a GP and we’re crying out for a GP,” he says.

Cape Town is also interested in hosting a future South African Grand Prix, if all financial issues are resolved.

A street circuit is proposed and the promoters say they have received acknowledgment from the Western Cape provincial government after years of lobbying and will be engaging at a national level in the New Year.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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