Brian Joss – World Rallycross of South Africa first took place in Cape Town at the Killarney International Raceway in November last year.
It was a massive success, garnering enormous crowds, creating a thrilling spectator experience, receiving huge accolades from the international drivers and a large amount of media coverage.
This was the first time Rallycross and its World Championship event was hosted in Africa, and is the only FIA World Championship round to take place in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It was also the
Killarney’s maximum capacity over two days is 30 000 spectators. Over this period, the event drew a total attendance of 27 253.
The bumper weekend offered high-energy racing, aerobatic displays by the South African Air Force’s Silver Falcons, expos, fan zones, food, drinks and clothing on sale.
Star name drivers who competed in South Africa included current World Champion Johan Kristoffersson, Mattias Ekström, Andreas Bakkerud, Sébastien Loeb, Ken Block and Petter Solberg.
Two South African drivers competed in this event: Mark Cronje, multiple South African Rally Champion, and Ashley Haigh-Smith, the only South African driver to have competed in the Junior World Rally Championship.
The final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will continue to be staged at the Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town for the next four years, from 2018 to 2021.
World Rallycross of South Africa is a partnership between the City of Cape Town, Killarney International Raceway and IMG, the international series organiser.
The 2017 event was broadcast to 160 countries; both live and via subsequent highlight packages and will be so for 2018 Table Mountain, one of the New7Wonders of Nature, is an impressive backdrop to the Killarney circuit, and was seen by millions across the world. A number of the drivers also visited this iconic site.
In 2017, the value of the 25 participating Rallycross Supercars – 20 international and 10 local – was estimated to be more than R250 million.
Local procurement, cars, sponsorship, broadcast rights, hotel stays, services and holidays by foreign visitors all contribute significantly to the local economy.
World Rallycross is the fastest growing branch of motorsport in the world.
The top World Rallycross drivers have more than 7 million followers on social media.
The Supercar specifications: Power: 447 kW; Torque: 900Nm; Acceleration:
0-100km/h in 1.9s; Capacity: 2050cc turbocharged (with 45mm restrictor); Minimum weight: 1300kg (including driver); Gearbox: free (manual shift, no driver aids, no paddle shift). Typically five or six-speed sequential. These cars are faster than Formula One racing cars.
After the success of the 2017 event, interest has grown for a World Rallycross of South Africa series.
It would be a motorsport code in its own right, an affordable series where new entrants can complete in competitive racing.
Brand Ambassadors of World Rallycross of SA for 2018 include: Chester Williams, Graham Duxbury, Sarel van der Merwe, Mark Cronje, Ashley Haigh-Smith, Marius Roberts, Jacob Moshokoa, Megan McCabe, Junaid Samodien and Ryan O Connor.
There are various levels of competition – each with different specifications and power units – from Crosskarts to Super 1600 to RX2 to Supercars.
Motorsport South Africa (MSA), the controlling body for motor sport in South Africa, has awarded the rights to establish a South African Rallycross series to Killarney International Raceway / Western Province Motor Club and Ashley Haigh Smith Racing, for a period of three years.
World Rallycross of South Africa is a family-friendly event featuring a succession of short, sharp, action-packed races with phenomenally quick, powerful cars – in other words, it never gets boring and kids under 12 are free.
The rally is on Saturday and Sunday November 24 and 25. Tickets are from R220to R750. Children under 12 are free. Hospitality tickets from R2 500.
Visit: www.ticketpros.co.za to book.
CAPTION: Action: first FIA-sanctioned World Championship since the last South African Grand Prix in 1993. Picture: Motorpress