Kyalami sold to Porsche for R205 million

The purchase by one of the world's biggest car brands suggests Kyalami will remain intact.

Alain Prost on his way to winning the last Formula One grand prix to be held at Kyalami in Johannesburg in June 1993. Picture: Classic Formula 1 Facebook Page.

JOHANNESBURG - The historic Kyalami racetrack has been auctioned off to Porsche for R205 million and is set to remain a functioning motoring hotspot.

The famed circuit, which sits on a 72 hectare site north of Johannesburg, hosted Formula One Grand Prix races for nearly two decades.

It was recently put up for sale due to the liquidation of the company which owned the property.

Bidding for the property started at R200 million and a phone-in bid by Porsche won after a fairly tame auction.

"The most important thing is that Kyalami has been saved for racing and we'll continue to operate it as a racetrack," says Porsche CEO Toby Venter.

"There are some synergies with Porsche that we can integrate now and into the future but that doesn't mean that other manufacturers will not also be accommodated," he adds.

The original 4,26 kilometre circuit hosted Formula One Grand Prix races from 1967 up until 1985, when it was cut from the world championship calendar as part of the boycotts against the apartheid regime.

Local hero and former Formula One world champion Jody Scheckter won the South African Grand Prix there in 1975.

Formula One returned to the track in 1992 and 1993 but the bankruptcy of a sponsor put an end to the programme.

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.