New COVID variant forces Kyalami 9 Hour postponement

A new date for the Kyalami 9 Hour is due to be announced on Monday

The emergence of a new coronavirus variant has forced the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge finale to be postponed.

Concerns have quickly grown since the new variant, B.1.1.529 (otherwise known as Omicron), was detected in South Africa during the week.

Various countries have since moved to impose travel restrictions to the southern African region.

That’s left event organisers with little option but to postpone, as confirmed in a joint statement by Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour and SRO Motorsports Group.

“The detection of coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 in southern Africa, announced on November 25, and the resulting travel restrictions already imposed by several countries will prevent most international teams and championship staff from flying to South Africa,” the statement explained.

The event was due to take place across December 2-4 at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, nestled between the nearby major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria.

A solution for a new date is now being explored.

“The local promoter and SRO Motorsports Group – who are jointly responsible for staging the race – are already working with local authorities to evaluate travel solutions and reschedule the event,” the statement continued.

“A new date for the Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour to be held at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit will be confirmed and announced on Monday.

“The safety of all participants and staff will take utmost priority in any decision to reschedule this season’s Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour.”

Two rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge have taken place thus far in 2021: the 24 Hours of Spa, and the Indianapolis 8 Hour.

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