Kyalami 9 Hours IGTC round gets new date in February 2022

The Kyalami 9 Hours round of the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge has been rescheduled for the first weekend of February next year.

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The announcement from IGTC organiser the Stephane Ratel Organiser on Tuesday follows last week's postponement of the South African series finale from its 4 December date this weekend as a result of the imposition of international travel restrictions to and from the country.

They followed the identification of the new Omicron COVID variant in South Africa and several neighbouring countries.

The new slot on 5 February avoids any clashes with other major endurance events and allows time for the transport of equipment and personnel to the opening round of next year's series, the Bathurst 12 Hours on 27 February.

The statement stressed that "the safety of all participants and staff will take utmost priority when considering whether the Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour can go ahead on its rescheduled date".

Ratel said: “I would like to sincerely thank the international teams and manufacturers already committed to this season’s Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour for their cooperation and willingness to find solutions to such an incredibly challenging situation.

"Many have other commitments in early 2022 but are going the extra mile to help ensure the Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour can go ahead if conditions allow.

“It has not been straightforward, and we will continue to monitor the global response to Omicron closely, but I am optimistic that we have given ourselves the best possible chance of crowning this season’s IGTC Powered by Pirelli champions in South Africa.

"The Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour is a fantastic event and one that will be even more special early next year thanks to the collective resolve shown by our teams, manufacturers and partners — motorsport’s fighting spirit is truly alive."

Event boss Sthe Mabanga stressed the importance of the role of the national and local government, as well as the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, in making the shift to a new date possible.

"The support we have received has been truly amazing, showcasing the true South African spirit and I would like to express our gratitude to all involved," he said.

The Kyalami event will be round three of the 2021 IGTC following the cancellation of the Bathurst and the Suzuka 10 Hours rounds.

The nine-hour sportscar fixture was revived as a round of the IGTC in 2019.

The fixture dates back to the 1960s and had been a world championship sportscar round sporadically through its history.

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