First released in 2011, Andre Loubser's landmark book, titled Kyalami: A reflection on the history of the original circuit 1961-1987, moved back into the spotlight with the return of international racing to the famed track recently. Here's why you really should have this book in your collection.
Working at CAR magazine from 2000 to 2013, I spent many a day in the archive room. It is here where I first bumped into Andre Loubser, meticulously going through every motorsport folder on the hunt for images and information on anything related to the Kyalami racing circuit, which had by then fallen into serious disrepair. Reputation was rife that it would be sold off and turned into a housing estate. The situation only seemed to inspire Loubser even more to get the stories of the original track told.
Happily, of course, the track was later rescued by Toby Venter of Porsche South Africa, and recently hosted its first international 9-Hour Endurance race since being completely renovated. It really heralded a new chapter for the iconic circuit, a rebirth even...
The original circuit, however, was a highlight on the international calendar during the '60s, '70s and '80s. It wasn't only the F1 circus that visited regularly, but also the endurance racing formulas and motorcycle championships. Many of the world's most iconic racers achieved fame on the original circuit, renowned for its extra-long straight.
The result of 26 years of exhaustive research by its author, Kyalami The Book is a must for anyone interested in the spectacular history of the original Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. It features a foreword by none other than Jody Scheckter and its highly detailed 411 pages contain a treasure trove of 1 180 photos (some never published before), giving the reader a unique behind-the-scenes look at the way things used to be at Kyalami.
Besides documenting the races that took place at Kyalami from 1961 to 1987, Kyalami The Book also details the birth of motorsport in South Africa - a "motoring tournament" held at the Green Point Cycle Track in Cape Town in 1903 - and includes a DVD with 80 minutes of rare footage of; the 1969 Republic Day Race, 1969 SA Grand Prix, 1975 SA Grand Prix prize-giving speeches, four laps of on-board footage with Derek Bell in a Porsche 956 and three laps with Alain Prost in a F1 Renault taken during practice for the 1983 SA Grand Prix.
It's a much for any South African motorsport fan and for the serious automobilia collector. Order yours here.