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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Kyalami 9H Rescheduled to February

IGTC season finale to now take place on Feb. 3-5, 2022…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

The Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour has been rescheduled to Feb. 3-5 following the event’s initial postponement due to travel restrictions imposed on the country amid the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Announced on Tuesday, the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge season will now be completed early next year, three weeks prior to the planned 2022 season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in late February.

The race was due to take place this weekend but had been called off because of the variant’s detection in Southern Africa, which has led to a number of countries suspending flights and imposing travel bans to and/or from South Africa and other surrounding nations. 

The date change comes after “extensive consultation” with teams and manufacturers and avoids clashes with other major international endurance events.

“Firstly, I would like to sincerely thank the international teams and manufacturers already committed to this season’s Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour for their cooperation and willingness to find solutions to such an incredibly challenging situation,” said SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel.

“Many have other commitments in early 2022 but are going the extra mile to help ensure the Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour can go ahead if conditions allow.

“It has not been straightforward, and we will continue to monitor the global response to Omicron closely, but I am optimistic that we have given ourselves the best possible chance of crowning this season’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli champions in South Africa.

“The Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour is a fantastic event and one that will be even more special early next year thanks to the collective resolve shown by our teams, manufacturers and partners. Motorsport’s fighting spirit is truly alive and well.”

Tickets already purchased for the event will be honored on its new date.

Event representative Sthe Mabanga added: “An international event of this stature requires the support of national government, the province, the city of Joburg, our partners and the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.

“Under normal circumstances it is an immense task that requires huge effort and collaboration. With the added complication of the Omicron coronavirus variant these partnerships have been put to the test.

“The support we have received has been truly amazing, showcasing the true South African spirit and I would like to express our gratitude to all involved.

“The whole team is working hard to ensure a successful event on the new dates, and we look forward to welcoming the fans.”

Despite the short gap to Bathurst, SRO says there is “sufficient time” for cars, equipment and personnel to travel from South Africa to Australia for the 2022 season opener.

This is believed to be achieved by air-freighting equipment instead of the initially planned sea-freight.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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