9 Hour returns: Kyalami to host 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge finale
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Johannesburg - The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit has confirmed that it will once again host the Intercontinental GT Challenge season finale, with the 2021 Kyalami 9 Hour Endurance Race scheduled to take place between 2 and 4 December.
As with the 2019 and 2020 events, the 9 Hour race will once again draw some of the top international GT race teams and drivers to the Midrand-based circuit, and the battle for title honours among the participating manufactures is expected to provide thrilling racing.
Although the full entry list is not available as yet, it is expected that several local teams, currently competing in the South African GT Championship, will enter the 9 Hour race.
The event will also see four local categories competing as support races with many championships also to be decided at Kyalami. These include the SAGT Series, Global Touring Cars, Volkswagen Polo Cup, BMW Racing Series and Mobil 1 V8 Supercars. The Soweto Drift Academy will once again host an off-track spinning competition adding to the local content and variety of the event.
Practice for both the 9 Hour and support races will kick off on Thursday, 2 December, with support races and official qualifying for the 9 Hour being staged on Friday, with a traditional midday start planned for the 9 Hour Race on Saturday, 4 December.
With the welcome recent announcement by government allowing limited spectator access to sporting events, plans are currently being put in place to accommodate a limited number of spectators at the event. These plans, once finalised, will be formally announced with on-line ticket sales opening soon after, organisers say.
The event will once again be hosted in partnership with the City of Johannesburg.
“Hosting of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli, this iconic Kyalami 9 Hour Race, in the City with spectators allowed is a timely boost to revive the South African economy that has been ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Joburg event management director Bongi Mokaba.
“All over the world, cities are competing for the attention of a finite number of investors, it’s very exciting for us as the City of Johannesburg to be able to showcase our amazing city and be able to let the world know we are open for business,” Mokaba added.
The 9 Hour race has a long history at Kyalami with the first race being hosted at the circuit’s inaugural meeting held on the 4th of November 1961. Fittingly 2021 marks the 60th Anniversary of the opening of the iconic and internationally renowned circuit.