We are all familiar with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That famous race which takes place in France annually hosts some of the quickest pilots in the world behind the wheel of some of the finest racecars on the planet. Works teams and privateers compete with the latest and most powerful machinery with aero tuned for top speed and max levels of downforce. SA’s first 24 Hour race, dubbed the 24 Hours of iLamuna is nothing like that.

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First for SA

The 24 Hours of iLamuna is based on a similar race format as used in the US, called 24 Hours of LeMons. The terms has a double meaning as a play on “Le Mans” and a really bad car. You can read more on the American series at this link. Race fans may know about famous SA endurance races such as the Castrol 9 Hour or the Kyalami 9 Hour, but this is the very first 24 Hour car race to take place on local soil. 

Racing kicks off just at 15:00 this coming Saturday (30 October) at Red Star Raceway near Delmas, east of Johannesburg. Forty three teams have been entered for the inaugural marathon event and they will race for honours to be the very first 24 Hours of iLamuna Champions. 

Click here to check out our exclusive gallery of images from the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.

All sorts

The rules state that your iLamuna racer must cost no more than R50 000. This cost does not include safety equipment, on which no restriction is placed. Any car that is deemed by the organisers to have cost more than R50k is liable for penalty laps, ie a negative lap count. The winner is the team with the most laps when the flag falls on Sunday afternoon after 24 hours of racing have been completed.

Scrutineering took place this last weekend and the field of race machinery was, err… quite diverse. As expected there were several VW’s of different shapes and sizes including a classic Beetle, a few Alfa Romeos and BMWs, one or two bakkies, a very neat Mazda MX-5 (much neater than this US version), a Mercedes-Benz SLK, a Renault Sandero (James May would be proud) and even a tow truck. We suspect it may be doing double duty during the race.

Staying in theme

Each team is supposed to have a funny name and car that plays along with the theme. Among them are The Fast and Delirious (with team members: Brian O’Donner, Han Job, Mia Ta, Dickhard Shaw and Dominique “Dom” Pedro) racing a very second hand Mazda Ass-Tina, The Italian Job, Boet Fighters, BS Racing, the Flying Squad, Team DatsFun and Blitz Patrol.

SA’s first 24 hour race will be broadcast live via this link.