Kyalami loses the 9-hour race that has been a part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge for GT3 cars since 2019. This is according to the provisional calendar as released by the series organiser. 

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Shrinking Calendar

A provisional 2024 IGTC calendar was shown at the 24 Hours of Spa, held earlier this weekend. Next year’s schedule has just four races listed. Although, the press release does state: but a fifth event could be added to the calendar following consultation with GT3 manufacturers. 

There was no official reason given as to why the sole race on the African continent has been left off the schedule. Recent IGTC races at the Midrand circuit had diminished fields when compared to similar events held in other countries. The 24 hour race in Belgium this weekend had a whopping 70 cars. In contrast, the last Kyalami 9 Hour had about a dozen entries.

Clashing Race Weekends

The 2023 Kyalami 9 Hour took place on the same weekend as the inaugural Formula E event, which was held in Cape Town. Although there is no overlap between the two events, in terms of teams, some motorsport fans had to choose which to attend as they were held on opposite sides of the country on the very same day.

Mind you, South Africa is not on the provisional schedule for the upcoming Formula E season either. The FIA released next season’s calendar and the Cape Town leg was absent. That came off the back of the news that Formula One is unlikely to host a race within our borders for the foreseeable future. For now, FIA World Rallycross race is the remaining international motorsport event on our radar. That event will be hosted later this year (more info here) in the Cape.

But all may not be lost. We reached out to the local circuit and received this comment from the spokesperson for Kyalami GP Circuit: The aim is to host the Kyalami 9 Hour in November/December this year. SRO and the promoter are engaged in discussions.

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In His Own Words

Race fans in Germany will be happy to note that the Nurburgring will be one of the stops. A full, 24-hour race will be hosted at the world-famous circuit.

Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports group founder and CEO: “Intercontinental was originally established to unite far flung GT3 races with no common connection. Yes, over time we have introduced new continents, but the events themselves must be worthy of the IGTC name to entice manufacturer participation. And in terms of GT racing prestige, few events can match the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring. It is an incredible event and undoubtedly one of the very best across all disciplines in world motor sport.”

Speaking to Sportscar365 in Spa he also said “The IGTC has really been the victim of Covid. When Covid started in February 2020, we had a legendary calendar with five legendary tracks on five continents with nine manufacturers entered. 

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t travel, we had Omicron falling on us in Kyalami. Suzuka stopped the [10 Hour] and hasn’t restarted it yet. So we had to do something as [it] came down to a calendar that is not attractive as it used to be [with] only three manufacturers.”

2024 Intercontinental GT Challenge Schedule

17-18 February: Bathurst (Australia) 12 Hour
1-2 June – Nürburgring (Germany) 24 Hour
27-30 June – 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium)
5-6 October – Indianapolis (USA) 8 Hour