Kyalami sale to ‘backfire’

2014-06-12 00:00

THE historic Kyalami race track will be auctioned on July 24. Witness Wheels asked Mike Fogg, who once owned Kyalami and is still involved in the preservation of the equally historic Hesketh Race track in Pietermaritzburg, his views on the issue.

Despite having information that Kyalami is a currently a profitable venue for motorsport events, Fogg has a dire prediction for the track’s future.

“Shareholder conflict has resulted in a constructive liquidation of the Kyalami Circuit and this strategy to attain 100% control is about to backfire badly and tragically result in the conversion of the circuit into an Industrial and Housing Estate and [its] total demise,” he said.

The Kyalami race track is built on about 72 hectares in the centre of a burgeoning residential and commercial suburb in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

Fogg said his family had owned the Kyalami Circuit solely at first and then with other shareholders from 2003 to 2006, following an initiative of the Roy Hesketh Motor Racing Foundation to save the circuit through a new business plan. He said he is advised Kyalami remains highly viable as a motor racing venue to this day.

The High Street Auction Co., South Africa’s premier auction house, said the sale of the iconic race track will be the largest no-reserve auction in the history of South Africa. The event also marks South Africa’s first race track auction.

Lance Chalwin-Milton, joint managing director of High Street Auctions, said the fact that there will be no reserve price means the property will definitely be sold on Thursday, July 24.

“The High Street Auction Co. was only instructed by the liquidators last week, but we have already received quite a number of inquiries from America, London and Europe,” said Van Reenen.

High Street Auctions will be targeting two kinds of buyers over the next two months, said Chalwin-Milton: Investors who will be looking at the development rights of the track itself, and buyers who are interested in owning a race track trophy.

The track has seen world-famous drivers, including Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, who over the years mastered the circuit of 4,26 km and a total of 13 turns.

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