WATCH: Toby Venter – CEO who puts pedal to the metal

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The Porsche SA boss who would rather be in a racing suit than jacket and tie, is revered for saving the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from becoming a business park.

As chief executive officers of large companies go, Toby Venter is … well, different. For one thing, the CEO of LSM Distributors which owns Porsche in South Africa, is an extremely accomplished race car driver. For another, he is widely revered as the man who, five years ago, saved the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from becoming a business park. It was Venter who, when Kyalami went up for auction, convinced the LSM Distributors board to buy it.

CEO of Porsche SA and of Kyalami racetrack Jody Venter at Kyalami racetrack in Kyalami, 14 November 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney “That let Pedro Rodriguez win the race in his Cooper Maserati, but I will never forget the crowd being almost hysterical while our champion led a F1 Grand Prix. I was hooked for life – on Kyalami itself and motorsport as a whole,” Venter says.

He went on to race a works Porsche GT2 in South African Extreme Supercar events, holding the overall lap record at various South African circuits for a number of years. “We retired her after running out of ways to keep making her quicker,” Venter says. “If the 9-Hour helps to start one professional driver on his or her way, we will have done a really good thing.”

 

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