A Fresh Start
The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, located in Midrand, South Africa, needed a major facelift when it was purchased by a new owner with big ambition, in 2014. Built in the 1960s, the circuit had gone through an initial rebuild in the 1990s, but very little maintenance had been performed on the track surface since then.
Before the project, the 4,246 m anti-clockwise circuit was a mix of straights, curves, sharp corners and the infamous “mine shaft”, a downhill straight and fast curve. This track has hosted World Superbike and Formula A1 single-seater racing.
In 2014, the track was sold to OT Investments. The new owner needed to rehabilitate the track surface and wanted to add an extension to the pit straight, believing it would enhance the appeal of the circuit to the racing fraternity.
The client’s objective was to transform the circuit into a modern, world-class track surface and venue with safety installations. The client also wanted to create a spectator-friendly venue and a viable commercial complex for day-to-day operations.
Using Technology for Race Track Simulation
WSP started by creating a 3D visualization model of the Kyalami race track, as part of the restoration project.
Our virtual three-dimensional in-car simulation of a ‘hot lap’ around the newly redesigned Kyalami race track enabled the client to assess the proposed track changes from various aerial viewpoints and from a driver’s perspective, travelling at a calculated Formula One speed profile. We received feedback from the motorsport industry prior to construction of the track.
This 3D production is a key component in conveying design intent. These visualizations also formed the basis of various media briefings and public broadcasts.
3D visualization modelling services include:
- A combination of mobile, terrestrial and aerial laser scanning together with high resolution aerial photography formed the basis of the virtual 3D model of the existing terrain and track.
- Geometric design, site modelling and detail design using the latest in 3D BIM technology facilitated the production of an accurate 3D model of the proposed track.
- Photo-realistic 3D animation/simulation using production level 3D design software, rendered in HD on a 3000 CPU node render-farm in Germany.
Rehabilitation of Multiple Components
To transform the circuit in a world-class motorsport venue, we rehabilitated part of the existing race track and delivered improvements, such as extension and realignment of the race track, and a vehicle underpass, and ancillary works, such as stormwater, internal access roads and parking.
We had to demolish 38 existing structures around the track and create spectator embankments in order to improve the installations and make the venue spectator-friendly.
Finally, to create a viable commercial complex, we built:
- Handle track (mini race track) advance vehicle training
- Platforms for motor show events
- 4 x 4 track
- Convention centre