No motorsport fan likes to see a classic race track get bulldozed, but the land these tracks occupy is often valuable, so there's typically no shortage of developers waiting in the wings for an operator to falter.
Demolition appeared to be the fate of the Kyalami track in Johannesburg, South Africa. After the owners ran out of cash, it was auctioned off. However, the winning bidder isn't going to turn it into condos.
That's because the official importer of Porsche cars in South Africa is now the owner of Kyalami. A winning bid of 205 million Rand (about $19.5 million at current exchange rates)—submitted over the phone by Porsche South Africa CEO Toby Venter—secured the track for the German automaker. It beat a handful of other interested parties after just under two minutes of bidding.
Porsche didn't discuss specifics of its plans for Kyalami, but confirmed that it will be preserved as a race track. Given the company's current program of building "Experience Centers" in different markets, it seems possible that Kyalami could serve a similar purpose.
The Experience Centers offer track driving and other instruction for Porsche owners and fans, and it's easy to imagine a track that once hosted the Formula One South African Grand Prix as a suitable place to teach novice drivers how to get the most out of their sports cars.