For many, older, motorsport fans hearing the phrase “9 Hour” conjures up fond memories of trackside braais and racing heroes battling into the night for honour, and ultimately victory. The Kyalami 9 Hour used to be a fixture of international motorsport but it was last staged in 1982.
The famous race dates back to the 1960s, 70s and 80s when works teams from Porsche and Ferrari would bring their latest race machinery and finest pilots such as Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass and David Piper to race on local soil.
The Kyalami 9 Hour has returned in 2019 as the final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge series. Racing will take place from November 21-23 at the Midrand circuit. Other rounds of the international championship include Bathurst, Laguna Seca, Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka.
Fans will be able to see road-based GT cars bashing panels and racing at close quarters around the recently renovated circuit. Among the machinery vying for honours will be Audi R8s, Bentley Continental GTs, BMW M6s, Honda NSXs, Lamborghini Huracans, Mercedes-AMG GTs, and Porsche 911s. See recent race action from the series here.
Click here to read about a new hypercar from the US.
SA racing rivals as teammates
One of the teams participating in the event will be Team Perfect Circle consisting of three local lads. Andre Bezuidenhout and Franco Scribante, usually racetrack rivals, will team up with Silvio Scribante to contest the international event in a race-prepped Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Johannesburg-based Bezuidenhout says of the upcoming event: “As an 8-year-old boy I hung on the fences of Kyalami and watched as my racing hero, David Piper, competed in the 9 Hour in a Porsche 917. I dreamt that one day I would be behind the wheel of a Porsche racing at the 9 Hour. It took me fifty years to achieve this dream.
Franco Scribante: “Andre and I are fierce rivals on-track, but we are also good friends and have a great deal of mutual respect for each other’s abilities. We are usually trying to beat each other so teaming up to compete in the 9 Hour is a great way for us to be on the same team on local soil. I am really looking forward to the challenge.”
Silvio Scribante: “I am delighted to share seat-time with Franco and Andre. We were the first South African team to enter and all three of us are achieving a lifelong dream to compete in the 9 Hour at Kyalami.”
Local lads who usually ply their trade overseas, Kelvin van der Linde and Jordan Pepper, will be competing for Audi and Bentley, respectively. Another SA driver likely to be on the grid is Capetonian David Perel, as well as Porsche Supercup competitor Saul Hack. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased from this site.
Learn more about Team Perfect Circle in the video below.