Brad Binder As Kyalami-Ambassador - Here's What Prevents A South African Grand Prix
Brad Binder breaks the lap record at Kyalami during the 2022 summer break. The South African has been hoping for a home Grand Prix ever since. But the signs are not good.
As a South African, Brad Binder has been hoping for a return of the South African Grand Prix for some time.
The KTM rider is getting support from MotoGP fans. A large survey showed that the majority of spectators would welcome a return to Africa.
Brad BInder – Image provided by Getty Images
So far, the races have been held in Kyalami and Welkom. The latter disappeared completely from the calendar after the last Grand Prix race in 2004 due to a massive drop in spectators.
After Binder’s promotion about the broken lap record at Kyalami, new hope is now emerging.
“I want a home GP! The most frustrating thing is that we have the facilities. Because we have Kyalami, which is an incredibly beautiful track, an excellent circuit, the infrastructure leaves nothing to be desired, also in terms of pit facilities and everything else. They are better than most of the current GP tracks we race on.”
But despite the good infrastructure, there are a few things standing in the way of a return to Kyalami. In an interview with Speedweek.com, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta explains:
“We had talks with the operators of Kyalami once a few years ago, but since then nothing has happened.”
And there are also some obstacles on site. Due to extreme cost increases, overseas races in MotoGP are hardly affordable for the organizers.
Many of the overseas races are now only affordable with the support of the government and local tourism authorities.
“The costs for overseas organizers are crazy,” Binder complains. The South African knows that other problems deserve much more attention in his home country at the moment.”
“Our government doesn’t even have enough money to supply people with electricity at the moment.”
“And as long as we have starving people in the country, you can’t expect such huge sums to be invested for a motorbike GP. Even though I would love to have a Grand Prix in Kyalami.”
In addition, there are problems with the location of the circuit. In the middle of a residential area, tough noise regulations have been imposed on the organizers.
Further modification of the track and especially the safety measures would also be necessary. Brad Binder explains:
“You would have to move the walls back a bit in some places so that there is enough crash space in case of a mistake.”
“But once that has been done, nothing would stand in the way of a GP in South Africa. It’s actually all pretty much ready for a Grand Prix.”