Kyalami 9-Hour Race

Jordan Pepper in discussion with engineer / Image: Supplied

Jordan Pepper’s homecoming at the Kyalami 9-Hour Race

28 Cars | 84 Race drivers | 15 South Africans flying the flag at the inaugural Kyalami 9-Hour Intercontinental GT Challenge Race.

Kyalami 9-Hour Race

Jordan Pepper in discussion with engineer / Image: Supplied

From 21-23 November 2019, the new Kyalami International Race Circuit plays host to the final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge endurance race in which no less than 28 cars will take to the grand prix circuit for racing honours. This weekend’s results will see one team and its three drivers being crowned 2019 champions.

Flying the SA flag, the field comprises 15 South African drivers some of whom are competing with local teams and some who have come home to race as part of international racing outfits.  While none of the South Africans are in contention for the championship, there’s a tangible sense of excitement in the paddock as these drivers relish the on-track battles on home soil, against some familiar faces.

Jordan Pepper at the Kyalami 9-Hour Race

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Joburg-born Jordan Pepper has been a factory driver for team Bentley M-Sport for two years. He will drive the #107 Bentley Continental GT3. In an interview with ahead of the race weekend, the 23-year old relished the chance to compete in front of home fans.

“I usually come home at the end of the year for a holiday, but it’s weirdly exciting to come home at this time of year to race in front of a home crowd. I rarely get that opportunity nowadays.” Jordan cautions against any thoughts of a home-crowd advantage.

“I last raced at Kyalami in Polo Cup, and so I don’t have a great advantage especially with the new layout.”

Racing alongside Pepper are a few other South African drivers including multiple SA champs Michael Van Rooyen and Gennaro Bonafede who will contest the race as teammates in the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. Other racing heroes the Van Der Linde brothers Sheldon and Kelvin will also complete, Sheldon competing in another BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 and Kelvin in the Audi R8 LMS GT3. Local racing teams will also join the fray with team Perfect Circle and Pablo Clark Racing fielding a Porsche 997 GT3 R and a 458 Italia GT3 respectively.

Jordan is working towards what he terms a ‘surprise win’ after a season that promised much as part of Bentley’s Centenary celebrations, but didn’t quite deliver the expected results. He is prepared to give it all he has, saying:

“This is racing so you have got to be there at the end to win, but I’m definitely gonna leave it all on the line. Kyalami suits our car with its longer wheelbase and front-engine layout. We’ve been quick in qualifying throughout the season and as long as the track remains dry, we should have a very good chance at a strong result here.”

Concerning his rivals this weekend, Jordan believes the race won’t be easy for anybody. “We’re worried about the changing weather conditions. Joburg thunderstorms could shake things up and under wet weather conditions, these GT3 cars are not easy to get on top of. Everyone is going to be under pressure out there.”

The weather forecast shows thunderstorms are indeed due from 21 – 23 November which may prove interesting for teams as they work to set up their cars in practice, to find the best start position during qualifying and of course, to score the most points come the end of the 9-hour race.

A 37-Year Hiatus

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The last time Kyalami hosted an international endurance event of this kind was 37-years ago. It’s a significant return to top tier international racing and it’s true to the hopes and promises of Kyalami-owner Toby Venter who vowed to bring international motorsport back to Kyalami after he purchased the track in 2014. 8 Manufacturers will contend the race weekend including Honda, Nissan, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche, BMW, Audi Sport, Ferrari and Bentley – a testament to the level of racing action that this series aims to deliver.

Current championship leaders, Team Mercedes-AMG lead the title charge with an 18-point lead ahead of rivals Porsche. Porsche will be looking to pull off a perfect weekend to take the championship at the final round.

Entertainment by Black Coffee, Prime Circle, Sun-El Musician and more

The Kyalami 9-Hour promises to be an action-packed racing weekend with a number of supporting races, celebrity events and an entertainment line-up featuring some of South Africa’s top artists. Headlining the event is Black Coffee who will perform at the Kyalami as part of his Africa is not a Jungle Tour.

Live Coverage

Catch live coverage of Friday’s three qualifying sessions and Pole Shootout, plus Saturday’s race, shown live across South Africa on SuperSport TV. For more info visit