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https://sportscar365.com/sro/igtc/kyala ... -schedule/Kyalami Added to IGTC Schedule
SRO confirms revival of Kyalami 9H in expanded Intercontinental GT Challenge schedule…
Kyalami will host a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, as part of an expanded five-round championship contested on five continents next year.
SRO Motorsports Group confirmed the 2019 calendar on Friday as part of founder and CEO Stephane Ratel’s annual press conference at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Kyalami 9 Hours, a revival of the famed endurance race that previously been part of the FIA World Sportscar Championship, will take place on Nov. 2-3, with the California 8 Hours moving to a to-be-determined March or April date.
It will mark the first international endurance race at the South African circuit since 2000, when the final round of the SportsRacing World Cup, the precursor to the FIA Sportscar Championship, was held (pictured below).
Ralf Kelleners and Gary Formato won that race in a Kremer Lola B98-Ford.
The 13-turn, 2.648-mile circuit was recently purchased by Toby Venter, the owner of Porsche South Africa, and has since undergone extensive upgrades that includes the certification as a FIA Grade 2 status.
The IGTC season will make return visits to Spa, Suzuka and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Championships will be awarded to manufacturers, Pro drivers and Am drivers, although no GT4 championship is set to be added.
2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge Schedule:
Feb. 2-3 — Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour
March/April TBA — California 8 Hours
July 27-28 — Total 24 Hours of Spa
Aug. 24-25 — Suzuka 10 Hours
Nov. 2-3 — Kyalami 9 Hours
https://sportscar365.com/sro/igtc/ratel ... h-revival/Ratel: “Dream Come True” for Kyalami 9H Revival
Stephane Ratel says it’s a “dream come true” to resurrect the Kyalami 9 Hours, an event that completes the SRO Motorsport Group founder and CEO’s five-race, five-continent target for the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
SRO confirmed the addition of the South African race during its annual press conference last weekend at Spa, which will close out the expanded 2019 season for the globe-trotting GT3 series.
The event, scheduled for Nov. 2-3, will mark the first international endurance race in Africa in nearly 20 years and continue the legacy that began at the former Formula One circuit in the 1960s.
Ratel explained a mutual friend of Toby Venter, the owner of Porsche South Africa who purchased the track in 2014, ultimately led to his dream becoming a reality after initially floating the concept more than two years ago.
“The circuit is superb, it’s [been] beautifully redone,” Ratel said. “It’s sad to have such a tool and not to have an international event.
“It’s a dream come true. It’s been this race which has had all the major cars winning it and it was the traditional [endurance race in Africa].”
While initially tabbed for an early March date, Ratel managed to move the California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Spring 2019 to accommodate the new event on the IGTC calendar.
“We discussed to try to put the California 8 Hours in spring, which made the date in November [possible]. It’s the traditional date,” Ratel said.
“The 9 hours was always the first weekend of November.”
Ratel said they’ve already had a “very good” response from manufacturers, which are expected to utilize established GT3 teams for the event.
Only a handful of GT3-spec cars are currently competing on the African continent, largely in the Mopar South African Endurance Series.
“It’s an untapped market,” Ratel said. “You have nothing there, you have no Formula 1, no WEC, nothing.
“It’s an important market for premium cars, sports cars, and Africa is important so I think it will be a success.
“I won’t give any names but a manufacturer came and said they had a [GT3] order from South Africa from people who heard about the 9 Hours.”
Ratel said the grid will likely include local cars, competing in a national class, alongside global-spec GT3 and GT4 machinery, in a similar format seen in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour of at Laguna Seca.
“We want to insert local cars,” he said. “It won’t be exclusively GT3. You have a racing scene and Toby himself has a Bentley [Continental] GT3.
“You have an Aston, a couple of Lambos, Ferraris. It won’t be the same spec but we will definitely have a national class.”
Van der Linde: Kyalami to be “Great Spectacle”
Kelvin van der Linde believes the race will be a highlight of the season, with the South African looking forward to racing on home soil.
The Audi factory driver, along with Jordan Pepper, who recently replaced Guy Smith in Bentley Team M-Sport’s lineup, are expected to be among the local stars taking part in the event.
“I’ve been involved a lot at the track itself doing a lot of shooting with Audi in South Africa,” van der Linde told Sportscr365. “I’m very impressed with the new track.
“Obviously it’s not 100 percent new now, it’s been around for two or three years, but it will be great for a GT3 car around there.
“It’s going to be a good spectacle, the South African fans love motorsport. Especially with two drivers being in the race, I think it will be a highlight.”
https://www.motorsport.com/bes/news/mey ... y/3153090/Gary Watkins wrote:Meyrick leaves hospital after Spa 24 Hours crash
Bentley factory driver Andy Meyrick is returning home to recover from the injuries he sustained in last weekend's Spa 24 Hours.
The 32-year-old Briton is traveling back to the UK on Friday following six days in intensive care in Liege hospital after breaking his legs during the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup round while driving a Team Parker Bentley Continental GT3.
Meyrick is now aiming to return to the cockpit at the beginning of next month in the Hungaroring round of the GT4 European Championship, in which he is a class winner with the Bullitt Racing Mercedes team.
He is also scheduled to marry his fiancee Rebecca at the end of this month.
Meyrick has expressed his gratitude to the rescue crew and hospital staff.
"I want to thank the Spa medical crew and the marshals that got me out of the car, as well as the team here at the hospital who have helped treat me the past six days," he said.
Meyrick described the accident which resulted in the race at Spa being red-flagged for nearly two hours during the night as "unavoidable".
He made contact with an Attempto Lamborghini Huracan GT3 at high speed at the top of Eau Rouge in the incident which also left its driver, Jurgen Krebs from Germany, with fractures.
"The Lamborghini had just speared back across the track right into my path," explained Meyrick.
"The light board was still green as I went into Eau Rouge and as I came over the brow, I didn’t have time to lift and unfortunately at 170mph, you don’t get away without a big impact when hitting a stationary car."
Krebs was also due to leave hospital before the end of the week, according to a statement from series organiser SRO.
https://www.blancpain-gt-series.com/new ... ring-eventStatement from SRO Motorsports Group regarding disqualification of car #63 from Nürburgring event
16 September 2018 Statement from SRO Motorsports Group regarding disqualification of car #63 from Nürburgring event
Following yesterday’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race at the Nürburgring, TV footage showed that Christian Engelhart (driver of the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan) was wearing his frontal head restraint (FHR) over the shoulder straps of his harness.
This is a breach of Article 120 of the Blancpain GT Series 2018 Sporting Regulations and the #63 car was therefore subject to a 30-second post-race time penalty.
Further footage showed that, after the chequered flag, Engelhart removed his glove, unbuckled his harness, and removed the SD card from the driver-facing Onboard Safety Camera. Engelhart was then seen to destroy the SD card before returning to the pits.
Driving on-track with an unbuckled harness and without gloves are both actions in contradiction of ISC Appendix L Chapter III Article 2.
Furthermore, Engelhart’s car was found to not have an operating Onboard Safety Camera throughout Saturday’s race, as required by Article 66 of the Blancpain GT Series 2018 Sporting Regulations.
Onboard Safety Cameras were introduced to the Sprint Cup to control the proper application of Article 120 of the 2018 Sporting Regulations. It states in part that: “a driver coming into the pits cannot unfasten his safety harness or racing net until his car is completely stopped in front of the pit garage.”Further to this: “After a pit stop, the car can only start moving after the driver’s safety harness and racing have been fastened.”
For these actions, car #63 has been disqualified from the event and will not take part in race two. The competitor has been reminded of their right to appeal, in accordance with Article 15 of the 2018 FIA International Sporting Code.