Cape Town - World Rallycross will return to Cape Town on the last weekend in November for the final round of the 2018 series, and it’s highly likely the championship will be decided at Killarney, which is why tickets for this world-class smackdown are already on sale.
That’s what happened in front of 30 000 fans, at the first visit to the Cape (and, in truth, to sub-Saharan Africa) in November 2017, of the fastest-growing discipline in world championship motorsport - in terms of television viewership, social media and, most importantly, bums on seats.
The organisers say live attendance at WRX rounds has gone up 225 percent in five years - and that, they say is because the action is fast and furious (races last about five minutes) you can see the whole track from almost anywhere on the stands - and the car in front is always the leader.
The racing is brutal: the track is short (just 1067 metres) and tight, 60 percent tar and 40 percent dirt with a least one jump where the cars get all four wheels off the ground and (in the case of Killarney) a huge berm at its lowest point that can almost swallow a car. Overtaking is difficult and physical contact inevitable - there are almost always bits of bodywork scattered around the track after a race.
In fact, crowd favourite Ken Block lost so much fibreglass body panelling off his Ford Fiesta in the semi-finals of the 2017 championship decider at Killarney that he was disqualified after the race because the Fiesta was under the minimum allowable weight!
The cars are just as brutal. From the outside they look very similar to the Ford Fiestas, Volkswagen Polos, Audi S1s and Peugeot 208s that many spectators drive, but under the skin of each one there’s a mid-engined all wheel-drive monster with 440kW on tap from just two litres of snarling turbopetrol four, capable of 0-100 in two seconds flat.
As former Formula one champion Jenson Button said after he drove one: “These cars are awesome, they’re what you dream about as a kid”.
With a field of 25 entries including three world champions - current title-holder Johan Kristoffersson, nine times WRC champion Sebastien Loeb and veteran hard man Petter Solberg - anything could happen and probably will. Local hero Mark Cronje entered the 2017 Killarney round and described it later as “unpredictable and hugely entertaining”.
Qualifying races for all classes will be run on Saturday 24 November, and knockout races through to the finals on Sunday 25 November.
|Weekend Pass - General Access||Adult||R430|
|Weekend Pass - General Access||Under 16||R220|
|Weekend Pass - General Access||Under 12 - 1 per Adult||Free|
|Weekend Pass - Wheelchair Access, Disabled Area||1 Wheelchair + 1 helper||R700|
|Weekend Pass - Grandstand Seating, Paddock Walk||All Ages||R750|
|Silver Hospitality Package - Per Day||All Ages||R2501.25|
|Silver Hospitality Package - Weekend Pass||All Ages||R4364.75|
|Gold Hospitality Package - Per Day||All Ages||R3754.75|
|Gold Hospitality Package - Weekend Pass||All Ages||R6549.25|