And so, despite the best efforts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the government to curtail all pleasure in our country, the 2020 Kyalami 9-Hour race did happen.
Sheldon van der Linde was the hero of the day, which made the lack of a huge live crowd all the more regrettable.
There were just 12 cars and no spectators, but enthusiasts got to watch it on television, and a young South African formed part of the winning team. We collectively owe a huge debt of gratitude to the organisers, who had to negotiate an exhausting and complicated maze of travel restrictions, funding problems and logistical nightmares to bring the event here.
A massive Highveld rainstorm forced the officials to run the final 40 minutes under Full Course Yellow conditions, leaving the winning Beemer to splash to victory.
Their efforts will not be forgotten when the Intercontinantal GT Challenge administrators compile next year’s calendar. Intrepid and brilliant motorsport photographer Dave Ledbitter was there, and we bring you the event through his lens.
Finishing third and seventh respectively, he Porsche 911 teams did enough to clinch the season’s Manufacturers’ title.
The Honda NSX of Marco Bononomi, Renger van der Zande and Bertrand Baguette led for eight of the nine hours. Here it fights off the Bentley Continental GT3 of Jordan Pepper, Jules Gounon and Maxime Soulet.
The Lechner Racing Porsche 911 GT3 of South Africans Saul Hack, Andre’ Bezuidenhout and Dylan Pereira was driven consistently and safely, to eventually finish tenth.
The Honda NSX headed into dusk in the lead, before a wrongly timed pitstop dropped it to a heart-breaking fourth place.
Just for the sake of art – the winning Beemer from an interesting angle.
Air for the brutish Bentley
Pirelli’s technicians were very tyred by the end of it all.
The South African flag, displayed on a really fast billboard.
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