STRADALE MOTORSPORT/INTO AFRICA TEAM STRIKE GOLD AT KYALAMI 9-HOUR
Kyalami, Johannesburg, South Africa
Charl Arangies, Arnold Neveling and Michael van Rooyen headed a Stradale Motorsport/Into Africa one-two in the National GT3 Class at the 2021 Kyalami 9-Hour, heading teammates Xolile Letlaka/Tschops Sipuka and Philip Kekana home, the first all-Black African team to enter and finish the Kyalami 9-Hour.
The crowd watching the podium celebrations erupted in a cacophony of ululating and cheering as the Letlaka/Sipuka/Kekana trio mounted the second step of the podium in front of the international TV cameras.
The third SA GT entry in the National class, Marius Jackson, Mikaeel Pitamber and Mo Mia brought their Audi R8 GT4 home third in class on their debut at the Kyalami 9-Hour.
The Arangies Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo overcame a trio of issues in the first hour of the race that cost the team 23 laps before staging a comeback that saw Arangies record the fastest speed down the main straight at 237, 8 km/h.
Arangies made a humdinger of a start, passing both the Santeloc and High Class Audis before trouble struck.
After just 22 minutes into the nine hour race, Arangies was forced to pit to repair a loose fender liner, most likely the result of clipping a kerb. Two laps after rejoining the race, a power steering pump required attention before a third unscheduled pit stop saw the Stradale Team change a holed radiator in 12½ minutes.
As the teams formed up on the grid, Letlaka used the high-profile occasion to reveal his Africa Race Together Foundation, an initiative to grow the sport through diversity, with all the SA GT drivers wearing their A.R.T. shirts in support of the initiative.
Letlaka settled into a steady drive after teammate Sipuka put the car into the wall during Friday’s pre-qualifying session which necessitated substantial repair work. What followed was a measured drive from all three drivers, claiming second place in the National GT3 class after a trouble free run which saw their Into Africa Lamborghini GT3 run like clockwork.
Jackson’s Megasurf Audi suffered a right front cracked brake disc in the opening minutes of the race, the driver wisely dropping 10 seconds off the pace. The race officials accepted the situation and instructed the team the drop their pace further for safety, and insisted on inspecting the Audi during every pit stop.
Late in the race, the left-front disc cracked but the trio nursed the car home to finish their debut Kyalami 9-Hour.
SA GT 1-Hour Race:
Silvio Scribante powered his Cemza Cement Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to victory in the non-championship SA GT 1-Hour race, followed by teenager Mikaeel Pitamber’s MJR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3.
Xolile Letlaka picked up the final podium position in his Stradale Motorsport/Into Africa Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, followed by Charl Arangies, who claimed the fastest lap in the National class, just 0.9 seconds behind the race winning Mercedes-AMG.
With all three SA GT cars completing the Kyalami 9-Hour, the focus now turns to the 2022 National Championship season, which gets underway at Zwartkops Raceway on 1st April. A number of new cars, including a “real crowd puller” from the Stradale camp, a new car currently in customs for the Scribante team and a pair of Mercedes-AMGs are set to thrill racing fans around the country.
Issued by Eric Buijs (Media Manager SAGTRA)
+27 82 66 246 10