Picture: 9 Hour (Pty) Ltd.

Midrand - The Kyalami 9 Hour is remembered with great fondness in motorsport circles and after a 37-year hiatus it is finally making a comeback.

Set to blast off from November 21 to 23, the Kyalami 9 Hour will form part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge for FIA GT3 specification supercars, sponsored by Pirelli. This sees Kyalami join a prestigious global race calendar that also includes the California 8 Hours, Bathurst 12 Hour, 24 Hours of Spa and Suzuka 10 Hours.

The event will also include other local championships and cars competing for class honours simultaneously, including #IntGTC’s eight full-season manufacturers as well as SA’s international GT stars Kelvin van der Linde and Jordan Pepper.

The main 9 Hour race takes place at midday on Saturday November 23, with various practice and qualifying sessions preceding it on Thursday and Friday.

The Kyalami 9 Hour was a hotly contested, and spectated, event back in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, where legendary racers such as Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass and David Piper raced fearlessly to victory. Organisers will be hoping to emulate much of that excitement in the modern era.

Massive achievement

“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,” said SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO, Stéphane Ratel.

Kyalami owner Toby Venter was also instrumental in bringing the legendary race back to African soil. 

“When Stéphane came to me with this suggestion, I didn’t hesitate in letting him know that I was keen to get involved,” Venter enthused.

“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”.

To that end, the event promises plenty of entertainment for families, including dedicated kids’ zones, live music, DJs and food trucks.

Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased here.

IOL Motoring