JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The Kyalami 9 Hour, last raced in South Africa 37 years ago, is to return during the 2019 racing season to join the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour, California 8-Hour, Total 24-Hour of Spa and Suzuka 10-Hour on 2019’s Pirelli Intercontinental GT Challenge schedule.
This event will be raced at Kyalami over November 21-23 and, besides a dazzling array of cars, will include live music, DJs, food trucks and a kids’ zone.
SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel told The Corner in a media release, that the addition of Kyalami to the other prestige GT3 races on the calendar was ”a dream come true”.
‘TRULY GLOBAL EVENT’
Ratel added: “I’ve spent years trying to get this African leg of the series off the ground. To at last have it all locked-in is a huge achievement. I’m absolutely delighted about having an African leg of this championship take the series to five continents.
”We will be a truly global event and we look forward to November when the cars will light up Kyalami for nine hours,”
The Intercontinental GT Challenge is reserved for FIA GT3 specced supercars but many of its events – including the Kyalami 9 Hour – will also feature local championships and cars competing for class honours simultaneously.
”They will share the track with #IntGTC’s eight full-season manufacturers, which are Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes AMG, Nissan and Porsche – plus South Africa’s international GT stars Kelvin van der Linde and Jordan Pepper.
The Kyalami 9 Hour, dating back to the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, was hotly contested by classic Porsche racers such as 550 Spider, 908, 917 and 956 and Ferrari 250 GTO and 512M when champions such as Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass and David Piper raced.
”The new event,” the organisers said in a media release, ”promises to be a thrilling return to former glory. This family-orientated event wold not have been possible without the enthusiastic co-operation of Toby Venter who is, among other things, Kyalami’s owner.
Venter told The Corner: “I didn’t hesitate to say I wanted to get involved. Kyalami has always been a stage for iconic motorsport events – to have the Kyalami 9 Hour return is truly special.”