Between the covers

This month, the newsletter’s monthly book review feature that focuses on motoring literature of interest to FMM’s followers, hosted by Wendy Monk, repeats the review of André Loubser’s book ‘Kyalami’ that was previously published in July…

Kyalami – A Reflection on the History of the Original Circuit 1961-1987 by Andre Loubser, published 2011.

I can remember a few years back while helping Andre source particular photographs for this book, asking him why he had taken so long to finish it. In answer, he showed me the mock-up and the blank spaces that needed to be filled. “I want it to be just right,” he told me. And he was right…

With the invaluable help of Eddi Londt, Andre has given us a superb book on one of the world’s iconic race circuits, the ‘old’ Kyalami. It is organised, readable, beautiful and full of photographs, all 1180 of them, and covers all the major events from the birth to the end of the original great circuit. The book starts with Kyalami’s early years and moves on to its main focus, namely the Blue Riband events from 1961 to 1987. Every Grand Prix is covered from 1961 to 1985, the endurance races from 1961 to 1987, and the Motorcycle Grands Prix from 1983 to 1985, each event portrayed with its own story, anecdotes, photos and race results.

Andre has not forgotten the characters that were attracted to the racing, nor those people who graced the circuit over the years such as the organisers, marshals and controlling bodies, and even the part played by the famous Kyalami Ranch. Included are the memories of the likes of Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme and Dave Clapham, and biographies of South Africa’s top drivers of the day such as Dave Charlton, the Scheckter brothers – Jody wrote the foreword – Eddie Keizan, Peter Gough, Sarel van der Merwe, Basil van Rooyen and many more. The book is dedicated to Andre’s wife Gill and the late, great Stirling Moss, one of his closest friends.

I have read Andre’s book for pleasure as well as relying on its statistical integrity to help me during research I have carried out over the years and, either way, I highly recommend it. The highest compliment I can give is that if ever I had been in the midst of writing a book on Kyalami and saw this volume, I would chuck my pen away and look for another project.

NB: The Kyalami book is available from The Franschhoek Motor Museum for R795 excluding and packing and postage.