Bernd Schneider is set to close out his professional racing career in the Kyalami 9 Hour as part of SunEnergy1 Racing’s lineup in the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season finale.
Sportscar365 has learned that the five-time DTM champion will join Thomas Jaeger and Kenny Habul at the wheel of a Black Falcon-prepared Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the Nov. 23 event at the former home of the South African Grand Prix.
It will mark the 55-year-old German’s final race in a storied career that’s spanned nearly 40 years and has included Formula 1, DTM, international touring car, GT and endurance racing competition.
Most recently, Schneider has been taking part in selected GT3 races, including an outing with Habul in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Detroit last year.
The U.S.-based Australian, who put the deal together for Kyalami, told Sportscar365 that it will be an honor to drive with the German racing legend in his final race.
“I’m a huge fan of Bernd,” Habul said. “As a kid, I grew up watching him. To be in the car with him in his last race, I’m happy. That’s why I basically asked him if he wanted to do it.”
Schneider has previously raced at Kyalami in the early 90s in ITR competition with Mercedes-Benz prior to the circuit’s recent renovations under the new ownership of Porsche South Africa.
SunEnergy1 Planning Full-Season IGTC Return in 2020
Habul has made his IGTC return in this weekend’s Suzuka 10 Hours, sharing his SunEnergy1 entry with Mikael Grenier and Nico Bastien, which is competing in the Silver Cup.
While having shifted his full-season focus to International GT Open this year, Habul said he plans to mount a full-season return to the SRO Motorsport Grooup’s global GT3 series in 2020.
Habul was unable to contest last month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa due to business commitments, while he skipped the California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca due to his distaste of the Californian circuit.
“Next year I’ll do the full [IGTC] series,” he said. “I’m happy they added Indianapolis. I actually suggested that or Watkins Glen.”
He indicated that Scott Taylor Motorsport will again run the team’s entry at the season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, with Black Falcon likely to be tasked with operations for the remainder of the five-round season.