The GT3 platform is set for its official debut in Africa, with the launch of the South African GT3 Challenge.
The championship, which will be contested over seven weekends alongside the South African Endurance Championship, kicks off at Phakisa Raceway in February.
It will feature a three-class structure with GT3, GT4 and a Challenge class, for nationally homologated cars.
“South Africa has been begging for a proper GT3 series,” said series coordinator Charl Aranges. “Now we will have a real championship catering for GT3 racing supercars and run to the same rules as the world’s leading GT3 series, which means that South African teams can invest in a class where they can race the finest cars in the world.”
Each race weekend will feature a 10-12-lap sprint race and 45-60-minute feature race, including a mandatory pit stop and optional driver change. All races will be streamed online.
According to series organizers, a handful of GT3-spec cars, understood to mostly be older-spec models, are already in the country, with more on its way for the championship’s launch season.
“We have our best local talent racing in overseas GT3 championships,” Aranges said. “But we already have enough machinery here, along with several newer cars on the water and headed for South Africa to justify a local brilliant new South African GT3 supercar racing series catering for the best drivers, trams and cars from across the globe.”
The new championship could help form the building blocks for Stephane Ratel’s target of hosting a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Kyalami, by as early as 2018.
2017 South African GT3 Challenge Schedule:
Feb. 25 — Phakisa Raceway
April — Killarney
June — East London
August — Dezzi Raceway
October — Port Elizabeth
November — Phakisa Raceway
December — Kyalami