Kyalami 9 Hours added to Intercontinental GT Challenge for 2019


Walkenhorst Motorsport - Total 24 Hours of Spa - Spa-Francorchamps
Credit: Craig Robertson

The 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge season will be expanded to five races after the announcement that the Kyalami 9 Hours would be revived, meaning the championship will now visit five different continents.

The race in South Africa will be in addition to the Bathurst 12 Hours, Total 24 Hours of Spa, Suzuka 10 Hours and the California 8 Hours, and will host the final race of the season at the beginning of November, ensuring Africa has a presence on the Intercontinental GT Challenge schedule for the first time.

The Kyalami 9 Hours was last held in 1982 and saw victory for Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in a Rothmans Porsche 956, although other sportscar races have been held there since, including 1000km events in the World Sportscar Championship in 1983 and 1984, and non-championship 500km races between 1986 and 1988.

It was brought back again for a three-year spell as a 2-hour 30 minute event in the SportsRacing World Cup between 1998-2000, but 2019 will mark its return to the 9 hour event that put it on the map, much to the delight of SRO Motorsports boss Stephane Ratel.

“I was with an old friend who is from South Africa and I told him I would love to go to Kyalami, and he said, ‘you can call Toby Venter, the owner of the track’,” Ratel said about the relaunch of the Kyalami event.

“I went to see him and the circuit is superb – it would be sad to have such a tool and no international event.”