Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said at the launch of the event on Thursday: “Normally, we sign three-year deals, but we’re delighted to have signed a five-year deal as hosts.
“Globally, there is massive interest in World Rallycross, with 180 million television viewers worldwide; now they’ll know about Cape Town and South Africa. They’ll know that Cape Town is the events capital of Africa.”
The last round of the series has been run in Argentina each year since the championship’s inception in 2014, but a new deal signed in conjunction with the City of Cape Town and Killarney International Raceway will see the showpiece come to the Cape for the next five editions. About 30 000 people are expected to attend the weekend event.
Killarney executive manager Des Easom was delighted to be hosting the championship, which will include a full weekend of racing around a new multi-surface track, purpose-built at Killarney for the November 10-12 race weekend.
“Killarney is one of the only multipurpose events venues in the country," Easom said. "It’s one of the best speedways in SA. We’ve enjoyed the support of many international visitors who have all praised the track and its environment and facilities."
“We felt the time was right and the city was ready for a world championship.”
World Rallycross managing director Paul Bellamy said they were “hugely impressed by the passion at Killarney” which was why it was an easy decision to move the event to Cape Town.
Taking part in the RX2 championship, one tier down from the supercar division, is South African John Williams who was excited to be driving the vehicles for the first time.
"It’s great for Cape Town, and its great for South Africa,” he said.
A World Rallycross supercar is quicker off the line than a Formula One car, taking less than two seconds to reach 100km/h.
Multiple motorsport title-holder and three-times World Rallycross champion Petter Solberg said these cars were the best he had driven.
“I’ve been a World Rally Champion but this is the sport for me."