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Transformed Kyalami is awarded FIA Grade 2 status

Ingwe Corner & Kyalami International Convention Centre The new Ingwe Corner and International Convention Centre at the refurbished Kyalami circuit
By:
 Neil Tipton
Added:
 Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit has been awarded Grade 2 status by the FIA, with its facilities described as being "second-to-none" by FIA safety delegate and F1 race director Charlie Whiting. Although the certification would currently preclude a revival of the Grand Prix without further upgrades, it does mean all categories below F1 are now licensed to race at the venue.

Kyalami has been undergoing a significant transformation since being bought for R205 million in 2014 by Toby Venter, the chief executive of Porsche South Africa. As well as layout changes which should ensure a faster and safer circuit with better spectator facilities, the venue now boasts a multi-use conference centre and new pits complex, serves as a hub for the entire facility.

In his final report on the track, Whiting wrote: "The track looked amazing and the attention to detail during the total refurbishment is second to none. I therefore have no hesitation in recommending that a Grade 2 circuit license is issued for the track".

In keeping with the revived legacy for Kyalami, various areas within the new pit and conference centre are named after legendary racing drivers, all of whom enjoyed racing great success at Kyalami. The 2,770 square-meter exhibition space, which is connected to the upper parking via a new bridge, will be known as the Jody Scheckter Paddock Club. On the first floor, two boardrooms bear the names of Jacky Ickx and Dave Charlton, while four adjacent conference rooms have been named after Sir Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell (CBE), Alain Prost and Niki Lauda respectively.

The new 2,100 square-meter covered roof terrace on the third floor is dedicated to local racing legend and regular motorsport competitor, Sarel van der Merwe. The additional launch area on the ground floor, designed to accommodate vehicle activations with direct access to the pit lane, has been named after the late John Love.

Elsewhere, an 18,000 square-meter Dynamic Driver Training area, covered with low-friction asphalt, is also now fully functional. Powerful irrigation systems afford 'wet condition' training in a safe and controlled environment. The 1.1 km Dynamic Handling Circuit is also complete, featuring irrigation on the lower portion of the circuit, for equally challenging driver training simulation.

While Kyalami has successfully hosted many events during the building phases, the first race meeting under the banner 'Motorsport Festival' will be hosted from the 21st until the 23rd of October this year.

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