News24

Wesbank Raceway to close

2007-06-07 12:04

Johannesburg - The Wesbank Raceway in Germiston - popular with motorsport fans - will be closed down at the end of the year to make way for industrial development, its spokesperson said on Thursday.

"The raceway has been sold to Pangbourne Property Limited, it was a purely business decision... It's the end of an era and we are sad to see it go," said Jan Johnson.

"So many records have been broken there."

Safety was one of the unmatched features drivers and fans could look forward to at Wesbank, Johnson said.

Wesbank Raceway opened in July 2003 and remains a popular venue for bike, oval, circuit and night drag racing.

Races will be held on the property until the end of the year but demolishing old structures and construction of roads to make way for the new owners has already begun on the site.

The Star reported on Thursday that Pangbourne will turn the 200 acre raceway into an industrial site.

Johnson said the raceway, reportedly one of the largest of its kind in the world, had changed the face of motorsport in South Africa and had contributed to curbing illegal drag racing.

"Some people may go back to the streets, but most of the drivers we have worked with have seen the benefits of a safe environment at Wesbank and I don't think they would want to go back."

Fans, drivers and officials were all disappointed at hearing the news but owners were looking into the possibility of developing a small drag strip with an oval in Gauteng.

"It will have to be viable but the price of land has shot up so much... it something we are looking at," said Johnson.