Five things you need to know about the 2019 Kyalami 9-Hour
After a 37-year absence the legendary Kyalami 9-Hour is back to enthrall motorsport fans with its heady mixture of glamour, guts and raw speed. These are five things you should know about it:
1: So when is this race actually going down?
The event happens over three days, with practice and qualifying scheduled to take place on Thursday 21 November and Friday 22 November. The actual race, the Kyalami 9-Hour, is set to start at 1:00pm on Saturday 23 November. The checkered flag comes out at 10:00pm.
2: What cars will be taking part?
The grid of the Kyalami 9-Hour will comprise of no less than 30 GT3 cars all competing within the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The marques taking part include Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan, Porsche, Aston Martin and Lamborghini.
This is an exceptionally exciting formula to watch as the racing is close and the cars all come injected with their own unique personality – from their exhaust note you can tell a high-pitched Ferrari from a growly Mercedes-AMG without even looking. They're also easier to relate to as they're based on their roadgoing siblings available in showrooms.
You can also look forward to support races in the form of the Falken Polo Cup and Motomart VW Challenge – one late on Friday afternoon and the second on Saturday morning before the 9-Hour. Friday will also be used to showcase our own home-grown motorsport formula: spinning.
The Soweto Drift 60 Minute Challenge, in support of the Soweto Drift Academy, will see six of SA's best spinners push the famous BMW 325i (known as the “Gusheshe”) to its limits. Crowd favourites Kayla, Eddie Boy, Veejaro, Mosotho, King Katra and Shanstone/WothiMalume will perform roll backs, tyre bouncing, side-to-sides and the target slide, with the most daring walking away with R10,000.
3: Stupid question but is there other stuff to do besides watch racing?
There sure is. If you feel the need for speed then you can enjoy a spot of go-kart racing on the ever-challenging Kyalami Dynamic Handling Circuit. Children aged 3 to 12 can pilot a Sodi Kid Racer while anyone older than 12 can battle for glory in a surprisingly rapid Sodi RT8 270cc. You can also expect musical entertainment from the likes of Black Coffee, Shekhinah, Prime Circle, Julian Gomes and Sun El Musician.
4: Will there be any South Africans racing?
Yes, there are 16 South African drivers taking part in the headlining 9-Hour event. Jordan Pepper, plus the Van der Linde brothers Kelvin and Sheldon are all part of the Bentley, Audi and BMW factory rosters at Kyalami, where they will be joined by compatriots David Perel, Gennaro Bonafede and Ignatius Michael von Rooyen in Intercontinental GT Challenge-nominated entries. Lechner Racing also includes rising local talent, Saul Hack, in their driver line-up.
But it’s not just international teams making the trip to Kyalami. True to the event’s traditions, three local squads have also entered: Stradale Motorsport, Pablo Clark Racing and Team Perfect Circle.
5: How much will it cost and where can I buy tickets?
So there are currently quite a few options available when it comes to track access – from simple R200 general access tickets right through to exclusive R14,000 hospitality deals. From what we've seen, general access looks pretty sufficient as it gives you the freedom to roam around and enjoy the racing from the circuit's many open embankments. For more information we suggest clicking on over to: