This weekend saw the long-awaited return of the Intercontinental GT Challenge to Johannesburg’s Kyalami Racetrack. Motorsport fans had long been hoping for the return of international events to South Africa, and the race did not disappoint.
Nine hours of thrilling action on the track have put South Africa and the Kyalami Racetrack firmly back where they belong amongst the world’s top international motorsport venues. The weather also played its part, with spectacular late afternoon highveld thunderstorms adding a suitably impressive backdrop.
Challenging conditions saw a number of cars retire, but Motul is delighted to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners, Germany’s Frikadelli Racing Team, who are powered by Motul. Their three drivers (Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet, Norway’s Dennis Olsen and Briton Nick Tandy) brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R home safely in first place after completing 259 laps. They crossed the line 6.7 seconds ahead of Walkenhorst Motorsport in the BMW M6 GT3. The top three cars were separated by less than 10 seconds, making for a very exciting finish after nine hours of racing.
With a single lap of the Kyalami Racetrack equalling 4.522km, the race is the equivalent of driving from Johannesburg to George.
“Our local and global team partnerships enabled us to play our part in what was a very special weekend for SA motorsport,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “With the winning Porsche being powered by Motul and the Motul-supported Team KCMG Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the top ten, we can certainly regard the Kyalami 9 Hour as an all-round success,” she added.
Team KCMG drivers Alexandre Imperatori of Switzerland, Edoardo Liberati of Italy and Oliver Jarvis of Great Britain came 6th overall in a time of 9:00:15.141 while Team KCMG’s second car (driven by Brazilian Joao Paulo de Oliveira, Japan’s Katsumasa Chiyo and Joshua Burdon of Australia) came a very creditable 19th overall to give the team two cars in the top 20.
The other Motul-supported teams had mixed fortunes on a day of sunshine and showers. The Honda Team Motul Honda NSX GT3 2019 completed 55 laps before a mechanical failure ended their hopes. The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 of all-South African Stradale Motorsport was involved in a crash on its 82nd lap, and a gearbox issue with their Porsche 997 GT3 R put paid to Team Perfect Circle’s bid for glory.
The dramatic conclusion to the race saw Porsche clinch the Manufacturer’s title and their driver Dennis Olsen top the drivers’ standings. During the day, Olsen’s colleague Nick Tandy also recorded the fastest lap of the event.
The atmosphere, drama and thrills of the Kyalami 9 Hour left no-one in any doubt that although the 37–year wait for the return of the Intercontinental GT Challenge to South Africa had been far too long, it had also been worth it.
For full results, please visit the official Intercontinental GT Challenge page. To learn more about superior oil and lubricant products, visit the Motul website.