THE KYALAMI 9-HOUR RACE IS BACK!

STORY BY THE KYALAMI 9-HOUR

Constructed in 1961, the original Kyalami circuit quickly developed into the premier motorsport facility in Africa. As the host circuit for the annual 9-Hour endurance races, held in November of each year, Kyalami attracted many famous sports car teams and drivers. The first such event was won by a Porsche 550 Spyder driven by John Love in 1961. The original Kyalami Circuit was regarded as one of the greats, and was one of the most challenging circuits of its day. Kyalami was also a popular venue for Formula 1, the first of which was hosted in 1967 and won by Pedro Rodriquez. 

Other motorsport legends enjoyed success at Kyalami during the 20 Grand Prix hosted at Kyalami, including Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Jack Brabham, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Jody Scheckter.  In an address at the occasion of a Kyalami 9-Hour event media briefing, Toby Venter – Kyalami Chief Executive Officer said, “When the O T Venter Group bought Kyalami in 2014, we were determined to revive the circuit to its former glory and preserve a national treasure. Kyalami has now been turned into a showcase for the city of Johannesburg and for the whole of South Africa”. 

“Of course, we always hoped to attract international motorsport back to Kyalami; but first we had to ensure that we had a sustainable and viable financial model. Kyalami was therefore developed into a multi-faceted facility, which includes an FIA graded race track with conference facilities surpassing international standards, as well as huge open air display areas, where we have hosted a variety of events which have become annual fixtures on the national events calendar”. 

Two of the county’s most successful racing formulas – the Falken Polo Cup and Motomart VW Challenge – will combine at the three-day event which runs from Thursday, November 21, to Saturday, November 23, and also includes jaw-dropping stunts from the Soweto Spinners; a spectacular classic car parade and go-karting for all ages.

With a reputation as two of South Africa’s most competitive and exciting racing series, the Falken Polo Cup and Motomart VW Challenge will combine for two thrilling races – one late on Friday afternoon and the second on Saturday morning ahead of the 9 Hour start.

Says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport: “We are excited to bring these series to Kyalami as the support event to the 9 Hour. By then both 2019 championships will have concluded and we expect 45 of our best drivers to line-up on the starting grid. South African competitors love racing at Kyalami and this event gives them an opportunity to do so. It also allows us to showcase the level of our race cars and drivers to an international audience.”

Welcome to the thrilling world of spinning and burning rubber as Soweto also comes to Kyalami on Friday, November 22. The Soweto Drift 60 Minute Challenge, in support of the Soweto Drift Academy, will see six of South Africa’s finest car 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 spinner walking away with R10 000.

“Kyalami has become the matrix of a business ecosystem for entrepreneurs,” according to Venter. “Small enterprises, such as food and beverage stalls flourish, while events and staging companies create thousands of temporary employment opportunities in addition to their increasing number of permanent employees. International and national events support hotels, restaurants and the broader tourism industry”. 

“The Kyalami 9-Hour event will be televised and streamed live via the worldwide web to the far corners of the globe. The excellence of the entire Kyalami precinct designed and constructed by South African companies, will be seen by thousands of people”. 

“Young, talented South African drivers honed their talents on the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and now race for international teams. The Kyalami 9-Hour curtain raiser races will surely be the focus of international team managers, keen to spot new talent”.  

“Kyalami is not only about rekindling fond memories and creating a new legacy, but also about shaping the future of South Africa. The O T Venter Group of Companies is invested in South Africa, ready for what the future may bring, actively and boldly contributing to the financial growth of Johannesburg and beyond”. 

“The Kyalami Team understand that they are privileged to serve South Africa in this manner, practically demonstrating our commitment to sustainable financial growth in South Africa, through local support and international relevance”, Venter concluded.

STORY BY THE KYALAMI 9-HOUR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *