The historic Kyalami 9 Hour makes a welcome return to motorsport after a 37-year absence later this season when it joins the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, California 8 Hours, Total 24 Hours of Spa and Suzuka 10 Hours on 2019’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli schedule. This prestigious motorsport event is set to blast off in Johannesburg from 21-23 November, and besides a dazzling array of roaring machines, includes live music, DJs, food trucks, a dedicated kids’ zone and more, making it the must-see family event of the year.
SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO, Stéphane Ratel, believes that the addition of Kyalami to the other prestigious GT3 races on the calendar is ‘a dream come true’.
“I’ve spent years trying to get this African leg of the series off the ground. To finally have it all locked in is a massive achievement and one that I am absolutely delighted about having an African part of this championship means that we are now across five continents.
We are truly a global event and we look forward to November when the thrilling sounds of the vehicles light up Kyalami for nine hours,” added Ratel.
While the Intercontinental GT Challenge is reserved for FIA GT3 specification supercars, many of its events – including the Kyalami 9 Hour – also feature local championships and cars competing for class honours simultaneously. They will share the track with #IntGTC’s eight full-season manufacturers – Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes AMG, Nissan and Porsche – plus South Africa’s international GT stars Kelvin van der Linde and Jordan Pepper, who are both battling for outright victory.
The Kyalami 9 Hour dates back to the 1960s, 70s and 80s. It was hotly contested by classic Porsche racers such as the 550 Spider, 908, 917 and 956, as well as the Ferrari 250 GTO and 512M. Back then champions such as Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass and David Piper raced fearlessly to victory. The new event promises to be a thrilling return to former glory.
This family-oriented event would not be possible without the enthusiastic co-operation of Toby Venter who is, among other things, the owner of the Kyalami raceway.
“When Stéphane came to me with this suggestion, I didn’t hesitate in letting him know that I was keen to get involved,” says Venter. “Kyalami has always been the stage for iconic motorsport events, and to have the Kyalami 9 Hour return here is truly special. It also adds a wonderful international event to the calendar that local
families can come and enjoy,” Venter concludes.
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