Red Star Raceway is something of a biker's paradise; dreamt up by two-wheeled enthusiasts to provide the best venue for bikers to lap safely in a family-friendly environment.
Since its inception in 2009, the track has grown exponentially and its popularity has gone from strength-to-strength. Aside from track day enthusiasts, the circuit has gone on to host the major national championships on two and four wheels. The South African Superbikes arrived in 2019, while on four wheels, the Sasol GTC Championship has made Red Star Raceway a firm fixture on its calendar.
The circuit is the brainchild of Jacques van Wyngaardt who had nurtured the idea for a number of years before he and his family were able to make it a reality. In 2009 they bought a plot of land at Delmas, around 50 miles east of Johannesburg, and began constructing the course. Heavy summer rains delayed progress but by 2010 the circuit was ready for action.
With a design fashioned by van Wyngaardt and civil engineers Andy Farmer and Kevin Owen, the full course measures 4km, with a shorter 'club' variant also incorporated. With a mix of medium speed bends, several hairpins and three straights, the track has plenty to challenge riders. Thankfully plenty of thought was put into the safety features, with a keen appreciation that many of those using the facilities will be amateur racers or novice riders. You really would be hard put to hit anything here in an accident, so vast are the run off areas.
An unusual feature of the circuit – perhaps a result of the large grassy run off – is that it can be run in either direction, with the track lapped anti-clockwise from January to June before switching to clockwise running from July through to December.
An equal amount of thought was given to the facilities offered to patrons, with the paddock area resembling something of an oasis in the otherwise empty countryside surroundings. 'Red Star Square' features a motorcycle accessories shop, a restaurant with pleasant outdoor seating and barbecue areas and even a children's pool area and playground, complete with playroom/movie house, helping to ensure there is more than enough entertainment to keep the kids busy while their parents are riding. There are even a number of holiday cabins on site for those that want to extend their visit.
The circuit has recently expanded with two brand new training centres, with the capacity to accommodate between 50 and 100 people. Ideal for conference, lunch and briefing sessions, the new facilities allowed the track to host corporate events for Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Ferrari during 2014.
Add in a skid pan and driver training facilities and it's not hard to see why the track has proved a hit with local bikers and the wider community.