The Intercontinental GT Challenge has found a new date for its South African round: The Kyalami 9 Hour will close out the season on 10-12th December.
Originally planned for a November date, a rescheduling of the popular event was necessary to accommodate teams, drivers and manufacturers who have seen their 2020 programmes squeezed into a summer and fall schedule. With the GT World Challenge Europe finale at Paul Ricard being held on 15th November, one week before the original date of the Kyalami 9 Hour, and the Spa 24 Hours one month earlier, logistics would’ve been a nightmare.
The new date also provides sufficient time for cars and equipment to travel directly to Australia for the 2021 season opener at Bathurst on 6-7th February.
SRO also announced it will keep the IGTC calendar at four races after consultation with teams and manufacturers, with the cancelled Suzuka 10 Hours not being replaced with a new race in Asia in consideration of reducing running costs.
“Moving Kyalami back to mid-December is a common-sense decision that eases any logistical complications for teams travelling from Europe where most of the 9 Hour’s entry is expected to come from,” Stéphane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO, said. “COVID-19 itself has not been a factor in our decision, although the virus’ influence on other racing calendars – including SRO’s – has most certainly played a role in the decision, which ensures as many cars as possible have the potential to compete in South Africa. Last year’s 9 Hour – the first for 22 years – was an incredible success that re-established Kyalami’s place on the international motorsport map. We fully expect December’s Intercontinental GT Challenge finale to continue that legacy.
“Restricting the 2020 calendar to four events also makes complete sense. There were discussions about staging Asia’s race elsewhere, but we and our nine full-season manufacturers ultimately felt this year wouldn’t be the right time to introduce a new event.”
The 2020 season returns to action with the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hour on 2-4th October before the Total 24 Hours of Spa takes place later that month (22-25th October). The season will come to an end with Kyalami’s season finale in mid-December.
2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge calendar – Revised
Complete – Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour – Australasia
October 2-4 – Indianapolis 8 Hour – North America
October 22-25 – Total 24 Hours of Spa – Europe
December 10-12 – Kyalami 9 Hour – Africa