The FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy will visit Africa for the first time next year. Killarney race circuit in Cape Town will stage a round of the World Championship in 2017 as part of a new multi-year deal with Championship promoter, IMG.
The South African round of World RX will form the final event of next year’s calendar. Dating back to 1947, Killarney has the magnificent back drop of Table Mountain in one of the world’s most beautiful cities that is Cape Town. The construction of a brand new rallycross track will commence in the next six weeks and will be a permanent circuit.
The Western Cape then had its first taste of international Formula One racing when the non-championship Cape Grand Prix was held at Killarney back in 1960. Since then, the complex has grown and hosts several forms of main circuit racing as well as motocross, karting, stock cars and drag racing.
Des Easom, Executive Manager of Killarney International Raceway commented: “Killarney is delighted to be hosting this first of its kind event in Africa. Our thousands of loyal fans and spectators, Cape Town and its New Seven Wonders of Nature Table Mountain deserve no less. This is a thrilling, highly competitive form of racing with international appeal and media coverage. We look forward to working with IMG and pooling our expertise and experience on the series of events. This is a great addition to our whole-year racing calendar and spectators can look forward to an international and world-class event.”
Alderman Ian Neilson, the City of Cape Town’s Executive Deputy Mayor, believes that the city’s investment in this initiative will reaffirm Cape Town’s status as a world-class African city. He explained: “Worldwide, motorsport is a significant generator of economic activity. This in turn enables economic growth and drives job creation. The City of Cape Town will do everything in its power to create an enabling environment to unlock investment and employment opportunities. This sporting event will also contribute positively to tourism, the marketing of Cape Town as a preferred destination and help to grow this sport in South Africa and in the rest of Africa. In South Africa in particular, sport has had a profound reconciliatory impact and we look forward to welcoming our diverse communities as well as the international fraternity.”
Paul Bellamy, World RX Managing Director for IMG, concluded: “We have been looking at South Africa as a potential new venue in World RX for some time and we are delighted to be able to announce the new deal from 2017 onwards. We are the only FIA World Championship to host an event in sub-Saharan Africa and the Killarney circuit is a fantastic facility where we can create a truly sensational season-closer. Next year will mark the first time that a rallycross event has taken place on the African continent and we are extremely excited to bring the sport to a new continent. I’d like to thank the Killarney organisers and the city of Cape Town for all their support in helping to get this project off the ground.”
Image courtesy of IMG/FIA World Rallycross