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Porsche Buys South Africa’s Kyalami F1 Grand Prix Racetrack

Porsche South Africa bought the Kyalami Formula One Grand Prix racetrack for 205 million rand ($19.5 million) at an auction in Johannesburg today.

“Porsche South Africa was the successful bidder,” Lance Chalwin-Milton, joint managing director of The High Street Auction Co., told reporters after the property was sold in less than 60 seconds of bidding. “They are going to keep it as a track. I believe they are going to develop around the track, which will then enhance the value for the owners.”

The 72-hectare (178-acre) property north of Johannesburg, which features a 4.26-kilometer (2.6-mile) racetrack where the South African Formula One Grand Prix was hosted until 1993, was auctioned because the owner, Farm Bothasfontein (Pty) Ltd., is in liquidation. With average homes in the area of Kyalami selling for as much as 5.5 million rand, the property attracted interest from real estate developers, Chalwin-Milton said on July 21.

If Kyalami had gone to a property developer, he may have seen “value in excess of 300 million rand or 400 million rand in terms of outbuilding it,” Chalwin-Milton said today. The reserve price set by a Johannesburg court was 200 million rand.

Porsche South Africa is an independent importer and isn’t part of Volkswagen AG’s Porsche, according to a representative of the Stuttgart, Germany-based maker of the 911 sports car. Porsche South Africa’s spokesman Christo Kruger didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed questions.

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