Midrand - The fate of Kyalami hangs in the balance with a proposed 24 July auction that is set to decide - depending on who buys it - whether the iconic circuit will continue to operate as a motorsport facility or be converted into a property development.
However, in a new twist, matters may be decided before then as the liquidators are meeting with the circuit’s owners on 16 July for a hearing, where a settlement could be reached before the auction takes place.
It may finally bring to an end the protracted battle for control of the troubled circuit between brothers Dimetrys and Antonys Theodisiou, who own a 40 percent share and also manage the property, and investors Imperial Holdings and Nedbank, who each own 30 percent.
Although motor racing still takes place there regularly, the Midrand facility has been neglected in recent years.
If no settlement is reached on 16 July, the auction will go ahead on 24 July with a R129-million reserve price. High Street Auctions, which has been appointed by the liquidators, reports that it has received a lot of interest from potential buyers.
Director Joff van Reenen said: “We’ve had interest from the US and Europe and we’ve been surprised by Kyalami’s legendary status.”
The once-remote 72 hectare property in Midrand is now in the centre of a burgeoning residential and commercial suburb, which means investors could be interested in the sale for business development and end the facility’s existence as a motorsport venue.
Racing drivers and petrol heads would be horrified to see the facility end up as a town house development, but some of those interested in the property have reportedly indicated they wanted to bring back the South African Formula One Grand Prix. The circuit has staged 21 Formula One races (the last in 1993) as well as other international events including rounds of the World Superbike series and A1 GP.
The 24 July auction, if it goes ahead, will be held at noon at Summer Place, 69 Melville Road, Hyde Park.