The legendary Kyalami Circuit in South Africa beckons for Garage 59 this week. The ‘Kyalami 9 Hour’ returns to the international motorsport calendar as the final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and the last race of the season for the Garage 59 squad.
The Kyalami 9 Hour last took place in 1982 as part of the FIA World Sportscar Championship and was won by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass. After a 37-year hiatus the race is back! Situated on the outskirts of Johannesburg, Kyalami is famed for being the home of the South African Grand Prix with the last F1 race taking place there in 1993. Now completely refurbished, Kyalami boasts an FIA Grade 2, 4.522km race track.
Last time out in the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Suzuka in Japan, Garage 59 took second place in the Pro-Am class. The #188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will run in the Pro-Am class again at Kyalami in the hands of Alexander West, Chris Goodwin and Côme Ledogar.
“The Kyalami 9 Hour is a great opportunity to race at a real classic international track,” said Goodwin. “Although the circuit itself has been modernised, reprofiled and even changed direction since the old days, it still retains its character with unusual corners and a massive elevation change. It will be a long race in the expected hot and maybe damp conditions and I’m sure the pace will be equally hot too.
“Racing in Pro-Am with Côme and Alex again, we certainly hope to go one better than our second place in the previous IGTC race at Suzuka,” he continued. “It is also the last race of the season in which Alex and I have raced three different Aston Martins in three Championships with podiums or wins in each. I hope we can finish what has been a great season on a high.”
The track action gets underway at Kyalami this Thursday with three practice sessions, with Qualifying taking place on Friday at 14:45 local time / 12:45 UK. The Kyalami 9 Hour gets underway on Saturday at 13:00 local / 11:00 UK. The full race and all of the Qualifying sessions will be shown live online at www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com and on SRO’s YouTube channel ‘GT World’.