Where is located Kyalami circuit: Kyalami grand prix circuit is in Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa, north of Johannesburg
Length: 4.529 km (2.814 mi)
Lap record: 1:42.021. Matt Campbell driving Porsche 911 (991) GT3 R, 2020 Kyalami 9 Hours
The original circuit was constructed in 1961 hosting its opening event, the Kyalami 9 Hours race, on the 4th November 1961, the circuit length being 4,104 km. The circuit ran in a clockwise direction and is best remembered for its long main straight. Corners such as Crowthorne, Barbeque, Jukskei, Sunset, Clubhouse, The Esses and Leeukop soon became household names. With the long straight and fast back section the circuit proved very quick with Crowthorne (first corner after the long straight) becoming a great overtaking corner and a spectator favorite. South African race fans flocked to the circuit with crowds approaching 100 000 at major events.
Kyalami hosted numerous international events on the original layout until 1988. 18 rounds of the F1 World Championship were hosted at the circuit between 1967 and 1985 with the annual 9 Hour and 1000 km endurances races continuing from the circuits inception until 1988. Three official rounds of the World Sportscar Championship were hosted at Kyalami in 1974, 1983 and 1984 and the 500cc Motorcycle World Championship also visited Kyalami from 1983 to 1985.
The final Grand Prix at the original circuit was won by Nigel Mansell in a Williams. Mansell lapped the circuit at a record average speed of 236.898 km/h in qualifying.
In 1989, for various reasons, the top half of the property was sold and the circuit "flipped over" to create version 2 of Kyalami, now an anticlockwise circuit 3.888km in length. The long straight was now gone and many felt that the mystic of the original circuit was lost. The pit complex was moved to the new main straight (between the old Jukskei and Sunset corners). Thankfully, the back part of the circuit from Sunset to The Esses was retained and is still in place today. With the commercialisation of the sport the original corner names were dropped in favor of sponsors names.
With the return of the Grand Prix in 1992 and 1993 a new section of the circuit was added which housed the new (current) pit complex and main straight. This version of the circuit was 4.246 km in length with the main straight 15 meters wide and the rest of the circuit 12 meters in width.
The circuit continued as a premier national motorsport venue but would once again make a return to the international scene. From 1998 to 2002 Kyalami hosted rounds of the popular World Superbike Championship (WSBK).
In 1994 a chicane was added in the second to last corner to reduce pit entry speeds and the speed into the final corner. This often criticised chicane was removed in 2009 when the circuit hosted two further rounds of the WSBK Championship in 2009 and 2010. The circuit also hosted a round of the A1GP series in 2009.
After this period the circuit went into a steady decline with the property eventually auctioned on the 24th July 2014. Mr. Toby Venter a well-known and respected motor business entrepreneur, visionary and successful race driver, purchased the circuit for 205 million Rand.
In May of 2015 an extensive redevelopment plan for the facility was announced including changes to the circuit layout, resurfacing of the circuit, upgrade of all spectator areas and facilities and a major upgrade to the pit building and exhibitions and conferencing center. A new driving dynamic area, skidpan and 1, 1 km handling track is also under construction. Safety upgrades to a FIA Grade 2 level have been installed.
edit by: Ascari