The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit is situated in Midrand in the province of Gauteng ideally positioned between the 2 major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. The name “Kyalami” (liberally translated) means “My Home” in Zulu, one of South Africa’s official languages.
The original circuit was constructed in 1961 and soon established itself as the premier motorsport facility in Southern Africa. The pleasant summer climate made Kyalami a favorite destination for European competitors unable to complete on home soil as a result of extreme winter conditions. The 9 Hour Endurance race meeting held in November of each year attracted many famous race teams to the southern tip of Africa. In 1967, Kyalami became part of the Formula 1 World Championship firmly placing it on the international motorsport calendar.
The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit hosted its opening event on the 4th November 1961, the circuit length being 4,104 km. A Porsche 550 Spyder driven by John Love and Dawie Gous taking an historic victory at the 9 Hour race held that day. The circuit ran in a clockwise direction and is best remembered for its long main straight. Corners such as Crowthorne, Barbeque, Jukskei, Sunset, Clubhouse, The Esses and Leeukop soon became household names among both local and international motorsport fans. With the long straight and fast back section the circuit proved very quick with Crowthorne (first corner after the long straight) becoming a great overtaking corner and a spectator favorite. South African race fans flocked to the circuit with crowds approaching 100 000 at major events, a festival atmosphere became a Kyalami trademark.